A new species of frog named the Copiula mosbyae was discovered in Papua New Guinea (PNG) during PNG LNG Project-related biodiversity monitoring.
As part of its commitment to protecting PNG’s environment and biodiversity value, PNG LNG Project operator ExxonMobil PNG (EMPNG) collects and analyses biodiversity data to understand trends in flora and fauna and as an indicator of the ecosystem health within the PNG LNG Project’s footprint.
The name Copiula mosbyae was selected by Stephen (Steve) Richards, a world renowned frog specialist, who leads biodiversity monitoring efforts on behalf of the PNG LNG Project. Named after Anita Mosby, Socioeconomic Advisor at ExxonMobil PNG, Copiula mosbyae is a credit to her hard work and dedication to biodiversity monitoring efforts, which take place in remote areas of PNG.
“I feel honoured to have a frog named after me, and I also recognise that I couldn’t do the successful work that got me this honour if it was not for great teamwork,” she said.
“I am grateful to ExxonMobil for giving me the opportunity to work with Steve, a leading expert on Melanesian herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) and Ordonata (dragonflies and damselflies).
“Ensuring that we run effective environmental and socioeconomic programs is a core part of my role here at ExxonMobil, and having world experts working alongside us is vitally important. Discovering a new species is simply thrilling.”
Having recently changed roles from Biodiversity Advisor to Socioeconomic Advisor, Anita is now working closely with communities to support their traditional connection to the environment.
“In PNG, biodiversity and cultural identity are very closely linked. The values that we place on biodiversity is something that we at EMPNG endeavour to preserve,” she said.
Andrew Barry, Managing Director at ExxonMobil PNG, said that naming the new species after Anita is a fantastic acknowledgement of her contribution to protecting the diverse environment in which EMPNG works.
“The discovery of a new species is not something that happens every day,” he said.
“This truly is a credit to Anita, and to the entire EMPNG organisation’s efforts to realize our core value of ‘Protect Tomorrow, Today’.”
In mid-2017, a species of damselfly was discovered in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea as a result of PNG LNG Project biodiversity monitoring. This species was named Nososticta moginae, after Dr. Jane Mogina, a Biodiversity Advisor with ExxonMobil PNG at the time who was instrumental in the discovery of the new species.
Biodiversity monitoring for the PNG LNG Project has led to several discoveries of new fauna and flora species, including the frog, Copiula mosbyae, the damselfly Nosostica moginae, and a new plant species named after ExxonMobil, Distrianthes exxonmobilensis.
EMPNG is committed to protecting Papua New Guinea’s rich environment and biodiversity. EMPNG partners with the PNG government as well as a mix of academic and community organisations to support environmental education programs focused on building the capacity of Papua New Guineans to manage project-related environmental and social programs.