LSU Researchers Identify 14 New Shrew Species in Major Discovery
December 22, 2022
After a decade-long journey taking inventory of Indonesian shrews living on the island of Sulawesi, a group of scientists led by LSU mammalogist Jake Esselstyn has identified 14 new endemic species.
“Usually, we discover one new species at a time, and there is a big thrill that comes
from it,” said Esselstyn, curator of mammals at the LSU Museum of Natural Science
and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. “But in this case,
it was overwhelming because for the first several years, we couldn’t figure out how
many species there were.”
This discovery is a major milestone in Esselstyn’s research. Now that he feels he has a handle on the shrew diversity of the island, Esselstyn is interested in exploring the geographic, geological, and biological factors that have contributed to Sulawesi’s extraordinary biodiversity.