In just one year 208 species were discovered in the Mekong region, which includes Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. The new species include a monkey, five carnivorous plants, a self-cloning lizard, and a leaf warbler. The snub-nosed monkey was discovered in remote Myanmar mountains. The self-cloning lizard species was found in Vietnam – and all are female. The carnivorous plants were found across the Mekong region and they can devour lizards, rodents and birds. Of the 208 new discoveries 145 plants, but many of them are already in danger of destruction and potentially extinction due to human activities. For example, recently the Javan Rhino in Vietnam was declared extinct due to poaching.
“The region’s treasure trove of biodiversity will be lost if governments fail to invest in the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, which is so fundamental to ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change,” said Stuart Chapman, a WWF representative. (Source: WWF-Panda)
What is equally important to conservation efforts is addressing human overpopulation, but for some reason it receives far less coverage in the press, and low awareness preserves the problem. Recently the human population reached seven billion and will continue growing. The effect on the world’s biodiversity is predictable as habitat loss is one of the main factors in loss of species. If humans keep converting wild land into residential and commercial developments, more and more species will be lost forever.
Some of these new animal discoveries, might be followed too soon by announcements of sudden declines or even extinctions. The World Wildlife Fund is working with local governments to protect the remaining wild habitats and their biodiversity.
Image Credit: WWF Cambodia