A monkey with white eye circles among the 224 species discovered in the Mekong

Bangkok, Jan 26 (EFE) .- A monkey with white eyes, a newt with devil horns and a bamboo resistant to water scarcity are part of the 224 new species of fauna and flora found in the Greater Mekong region, revealed this Wednesday the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In its annual report, which was suspended last year due to the pandemic, the environmental group highlights the discovery of a new mammal, 35 reptiles, 17 amphibians, 16 fish and 155 plants and trees in this area of ​​great biodiversity that includes Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. “The Greater Mekong region is still at the forefront of (species) discovery, but these findings highlight that we are losing and destroying natural habitat, and an unsustainable trade in wild species,” WWF stresses, noting that 3,000 new species have been found in the region since 1997. Some of these species could already find their survival threatened, among them the aforementioned new species of monkey found in the central plain of Burma, of which there could be between 200-250 copies spread over four remote locations, environmentalists point out. This mammal, named Popa langur in reference to the extinct volcano of Mount Popa, is also threatened by hunting and deforestation for the timber industry and to expand agricultural crops. The first evidence of this species of mammal was not found in the wild but among the bones collected more than a century ago and found in the Natural History Museum of Great Britain. Genetic analysis to compare the recently collected bones with the museum specimens indicated that both samples matched. Two main distinguishing features of this new specimen, captured thanks to camera traps placed in 2018, are the wide white rings around the eyes and the whiskers that pointed forward. “We have to work together and quickly to conserve the wildlife and habitat that makes this region unique, to ensure that new species continue to be discovered,” says the environmental group.


Leave a Comment