National Geographic : 2010 Jun
(a type of bird of paradise) found in the Fojas was a species that may be distinct from those elsewhere in New Guinea. "I'm up to a ratio of 400 to one," Scholes grumbled. "Four hundred minutes of sitting in that mosquito-infested pigsty of a blind to one minute of seeing the bird." When three weeks were up, the list of discov- eries had grown from Brother Henk's rst-day butter y to include an appealingly beady-eyed rat, a long-nosed frog caught while it rested on a sack of rice, a huge dragon y with glittering yellow eyes, a gecko spotted by its ery orange eyeshine, and many more butter ies and moths. e expedition's biologists found several new species and---even in the tiny fraction of the Fojas' expanse explored---greatly expanded knowledge of the ranges and abundance of New Guinea fauna and ora. As the helicopter rose from the bog, team members looked out the windows to see ocks of huge white cockatoos, startled by the roaring engine, ying over dark green forest stretching to the horizon. e noise died away, the birds settled back into the treetops, and life in the Foja Mountains returned to centuries-old rhythms, its mysteries scarcely breached. j n Society Grant This project was funded in part by your National Geographic Society membership.