With the ever-increasing globalization and homogenization of our world it is a miracle that some relatively unexplored places are still left on the face of the earth. South Sudan is one such place. Torn by civil wars for the larger part of the past century, the state has only gained its independence in 2011. With the newly found political stability came the time of ecological exploration in this part of the volatile East African region.
True to its promise of a little-known land, South Sudan is starting to reveal its wildlife secrets. The team of researchers led by the Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) and the Fauna and Flora International experts have recently discovered an extraordinary new bat species. With a strikingly beautiful pattern of spots and stripes this bat is so unique that a new genus had to be created to classify it.
Niumbaha superba is aptly named. The new genus name – Niumbaha – means ‘rare’ or ‘unusual’ in the language of Azande people that inhibit Western Equatoria – the state in South Sudan where the bat was discovered. The species name – superba – speaks for itself, reflecting the uniqueness and striking appearance of the bat.
Hopefully first of many more to come, this discovery brings back the notion of mysterious Lost Worlds waiting to be discovered by the adventurous amongst us.