STUDENT DISCOVERS NEW SPECIES OF GECKO IN NEW CALEDONIA

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (January 1, 1999 - Radio Australia)---A British ecology student has discovered a new species of gecko during a conservation trip to the Pacific.

Julia Jones, a 21-year-old undergraduate at Cambridge University, spotted the lizard in a rock crack 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) up Mount Ignambi in New Caledonia.

She says she instantly realized she might be looking at a new species of the Bavayia gecko because of its large size - about 16-centimeter in length- and distinctive toe structure.

Confirmation that the gecko was a new species was made by the Australian Museum in Sydney.

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