Researchers Discover 139 New Species of Wildlife Last Year in Southeast Asia

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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has said that researchers have released a new report, revealing that 139 new species of wildlife was discovered in 2014, in the Greater Mekong Region, in Southeast Asia.

The Greater Mekong Region, was designated as a developmental zone by the Asian Development Bank, in 1992. It is made up of six countries-Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China. The region is said to be one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet.

The report was put together by a group of researchers called “Magical Mekong”, who have been working in the area to fully develop the potential of the region for the benefit of humanity.

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Excerpts from the report, detailing the discovery, said “Ninety plants, 23 reptiles, 16 amphibians, nine fish, and one mammal are detailed in the report Magical Mekong—and many of them are already at risk. They include a feathered coral whose nearest relatives live in Africa, four moths named after Thai princesses, a color-changing thorny frog and two orchids discovered are already being traded. This brings the total number of new species discovered in the Greater Mekong—a region that includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam—to 2,216 between 1997 and 2014. That’s an average of three new species discovered a week”.

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Some of the newest species of animals discovered include the wolf snake, the long-fanged bat, the crocodile newt, and the soul-sucking dementor wasp.

But, it is said that many of the new species that have been discovered are in danger from human activities. Farmers and illegal hunters are posing a great threat to these species.

The Conservation Director for WWF in Greater Mekong-Teak Seng, told reporters that there must be concerted effort to protect the discovered species from being destroyed by human activities.

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The Greater Mekong’s unique ecosystems are truly the gift that keeps on giving, providing sanctuary for a treasure trove of species and critical benefits for millions of people across the region. As Magical Mekong reveals, the scientists behind these discoveries feel they are racing against the clock to document these species and strongly advocate for their protection before they disappear,” he said.

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The WWF has said it is actively working to support the region and help forest rangers by increasing their capacities to protect the animals and landscapes from illegal hunters and farmers.

According to the WWF, the Greater Mekong Region is one of the world’s richest ecosystems and more than 60 million people depend on it for survival.

The organization said “WWF’s way of conserving the planet’s natural resources combines our unmatched global reach with a foundation in science. We take action at every level and ensure the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. You can help support our work in many ways— from speaking out for animals on our Action Center or sharing our message in an e-card to becoming a WWF member”.

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To support the work of the WWF and protect the region, you can follow this link www.worldwildlife.org/how-to-help to contribute what you have and help make our environment a better place.


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