In 2017, a team of scientists and researchers from Conservation International conducted a three-week research expedition following the discovery of ancient ruins at a site deep within the Mosquitia rainforest known as the “Lost City of the Monkey God” or the “White City.”
The organization finally published a full report of their findings, which details how the ancient settlement has a thriving ecosystem with rare and unique species, including new species and species once thought to be extinct.
In total, the team documented 198 species of birds, 94 of butterflies, 40 of small mammals, 56 of amphibians and reptiles, 30 of large mammals – such as pumas, ocelots, and jaguars – and a variety of plants, fish, rodents, and insects.
Some of the more notable finds included a tiger beetle, which had only ever been recorded in Nicaragua and was believed to be extinct; and the false tree coral snake, which had not been reported in Honduras since 1965.
“Our team of scientists were shocked at the discovery of tremendously rich biodiversity, including many rare and threatened species,” said Trond Larsen, Director of Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program. “The ‘White City’ is one of the few areas remaining in Central America where ecological and evolutionary processes remain intact.