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Nearly 300 new species found in Norway

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Nearly 300 new species found in Norway
Simrothiella, a totally new species of worm-like mollusk found in great numbers in Rijpfjorden on Svalbard - Christiane Todt, University Museum of Bergen
10:56 CET+01:00
Nearly 300 completely new species have been discovered in Norway over the last four years, as the country tries to discover and catalogue every species of animal and plant within its borders.
The Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative, launched in 2009, has discovered 1165 species never previously found in the country, of which its researchers believe 261 are completely new to science. 
 
"These are very good results that provide new knowledge of both individual species and ecosystems," Ivar Myklebust, director of the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre in Trondheim, which is coordinating the initiative, said in a statement. 
 
The programme's marine research yielded the greatest proportion of completely new species, with 48 percent of the 157 species that were new to Norway also new to science. 
 
Nearly 60 percent of the species newly discovered in Norway were insects, spiders and springtails, another group of small invertebrates. 
 
Scientists believe that there are roughly 55 000 species in the country -- a fraction of the number in more biologically diverse tropical environments -- of which  only 41 000 have been discovered so far. 
 
"Even though the flora of both lichen and moss is regarded to be relatively well known,  the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative has facilitated new knowledge about both occurrence and distribution in both groups," Ingrid Ertshus Mathisen, an advisor to the survey told The Local. 
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