Scientists recently discovered new species of coral, algae, starfish and sea cucumbers at Isla del Coco National Park off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, according to a statement from the marine conservation organization MarViva.
Detailed information remains to be gained about these species, but scientists are studying them and believe these finds could lead to the discovery of other new species, the statement said.
The discoveries were made during a recent expedition led by the Center for Research of Marine Sciences (CIMAR) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) to gather information about Isla del Coco’s unique marine environment and plan for long-term monitoring of the area. The expedition was the first of its kind in 100 years.
This “marks a new era of marine research in the country and is an essential part of planning efforts for conservation on a regional level,” the statement said.
Similar research was conducted by scientists at the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador; Isla Coiba, in Panama; and Isla Malpelo, in Colombia; to establish regional marine corridors for coordinated research.