You are here: Home » News-IANS » Environment-Wildlife
Business Standard

115 new species found in Greater Mekong region

IANS  |  Bangkok 

A lizard, a snail-eating and a horseshoe bat are among the 115 new species discovered by scientists in Southeast Asia's River region in 2016, the (WWF) announced on Tuesday.

Scientists from several research institutes discovered the new species, including 11 amphibians, two fish, 11 reptiles, 88 plants and three mammals in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam, reports news.

The new discoveries include two mole species and a coloured frog, found in as well as a black and brown striped loach fish with a long body and bold stripes found in a

These bring the total number of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians discovered in the region between 1997 and 2016 to 2,524.

"More than two new species a week and 2,500 in the past 20 years speaks to how incredibly important the Greater is to global biodiversity," said Stuart Chapman, WWF Greater Regional Representative, in a statement.

"While the threats to the region are many, these discoveries give us hope that species from the tiger to the will survive."

Among the threats, Chapman pointed to coal mines and the construction of dams and roads that endanger "the survival of the natural landscapes". and result in illegal animal trafficking that could make species disappear before they are even discovered.

The organisation also highlighted the Golden Triangle, the area where the borders of Laos, and meet, as a focus of illegal trading of protected species that decimates wildlife populations across the region.

According to WWF, the illegal wildlife trading extends from to due to greater demand generated by tourists from and who go to markets such as in Mong La, in Myanmar, or Boten, Laos, in search of products including ivory, rhino horn or body parts of tiger.

WWF called on the governments of the region to take action against poaching and put an end to the illegal wildlife markets that "operate with impunity in open view".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 19 2017. 09:54 IST