1,300 New Species Discovered: Conservation International Celebrates 20 Years Of Rapid Assessment Program (PHOTOS)

Conservation International (CI) is celebrating two decades of its successful Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), which has led to the discovery of over 1,300 new species, by releasing a list of its 20 "RAP Stars" -- the new species that have become international sensations with nicknames like "Yoda bat," "Dinospider," "Walking shark," and "Pinocchio frog."

A new book, "Still Counting," details the program's progress over the past two decades.

Launched in 1990, the idea behind the creation of CI’s Rapid Assessment Program was to build a team of the best field biologists from different disciplines, and create what CI founder, CEO, and Chairman Peter Seligmann described in the foreword to the book as “An ecological SWAT team that could accurately assess the health of an ecosystem in a fraction of the time it would normally take”.

The organization's program has grown to include 10-30 scientists per expedition, and over 80 surveys have been completed in 27 countries.

Check out some of CI's RAP stars below, and click here to see them all.