Scientists have discovered as many as 163 new species in the ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region of the Southeast Asia. It includes 3 mammals species, 9 amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles and 143 plants.
These species were discovered in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. It was revealed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report.
- The new species include lizard with dragon-like horns Acanthosaura phuketensis. It was discovered at the Thai tourist island of Phuket.
- New frog species Leptolalax isos which can fit on a fingertip was discovered in Cambodia and Vietnam.
- It also includes eye-catching Parafimbrios lao, a snake with rainbow-like scale colours around its head. It was found in the limestone karsts region of northern Laos.
- A new newt species Tylototriton anguliceps with dazzling red and black markings was also discovered.
About Greater Mekong region
- The Greater Mekong region is one of the most diverse regions and biodiversity hotspot on the planet. It is a magnet for the world’s conservation because of the incredible diversity of species.
- It includes southwestern China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Mekong river helps this diverse region to sustain.
- The region has a diverse geographic landscape including massifs, plateaus, and limestone karsts, lowlands, deltas, fertile floodplains, forests and grasslands.
- It is habitats for an estimated 20,000 plant species, 1,300 fish species, 1,200 bird species, 800 reptile and amphibian species and 430 mammal species.
- However, it is under intense pressure from dam and road building as well as a thriving illegal wildlife trade and climate change.