Creatures Found And Lost Before Scientists Can Record Them
BANGKOK: Scientists identify a new species every two days in the Greater Mekong region, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a report detailing this year’s unusual finds, such as a leaf warbler and a self-cloning lizard.
But the conservation group said some species could disappear before they are recorded because of human pressures in south-east Asia, described in the report as “one of the last frontiers” for discoveries.
More than 200 species were newly recorded last year in the Greater Mekong, which includes Thailand, Laos and the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan.
Some such as the snub-nosed monkey found in Burma’s remote Kachin state, were known to local people but never previously identified by scientists.
A species of all-female lizard, which reproduces via cloning without the need for males, was spotted by a scientist by chance on a menu in a Vietnamese restaurant (Click here for the full story).
A spokeswoman for WWF Greater Mekong, Sarah Bladen, said despite the number of new species found, the region faced an “extinction crisis”. The list, dominated by plants, included 28 reptiles and seven amphibians, such as vibrantly spotted newt species and a psychedelic gecko.