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Ghostly monkey and slug snake among 224 new species found in Mekong region | Myanmar

A monkey with ghostly white circles round its eyes is among 224 new species listed in the World Wildlife Fund’s newest replace on the higher Mekong region.

The conservation group’s report, launched on Wednesday, highlights the necessity to shield the wealthy biodiversity and habitats in the region, which incorporates Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

The species listed had been found in 2020 however final yr’s report was delayed. The monkey, a new species of Popa langur found on the extinct Mt. Popa volcano in Myanmar, was the one new mammal.

There are additionally dozens of newly recognized reptiles, frogs and newts, fish and 155 plant species, together with the one identified succulent bamboo species, found in Laos.

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The Mekong region is a biodiversity hotspot and house to tigers, Asian elephants, saola — an especially uncommon animal additionally known as the Asian unicorn or spindlehorn — and 1000’s of different species.

The Doi Phu Kha newt is among the new species listed in the World Wildlife Fund’s newest replace on the Mekong region. {Photograph}: AP

Together with this newest listing, scientists have recognized greater than 3,000 new species in the region since 1997, the WWF stated.

Scientists used measurements and samples from museum collections to check and establish key variations with options of the newly found animals and vegetation, the report stated.

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Learning such variations might help decide the vary of species and threats to their survival, Thomas Ziegler, a curator on the College of Cologne’s Institute of Zoology, stated in introducing the report.

Figuring out new species is difficult, although, and generally can solely be decided utilizing a wide range of strategies, comparable to frog calls and genetic knowledge used to differentiate the Cardamom leaf little frog, found excessive up in the Cardamom mountains in a wildlife refuge.

Some species are found in a couple of nation, together with the brilliant orange twin slug snake, which consumes slugs.

A twin slug snake rests on a leaf.A twin slug snake. {Photograph}: AP

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The new monkey species, Popa langur, was found based mostly on genetic matching of just lately gathered bones with specimens from Britain’s Pure Historical past Museum collected greater than a century in the past, the report stated.

Two primary distinguishing traits had been the broad white rings round its eyes and its front-pointing whiskers.

The WWF, working with Fauna and Flora Worldwide, caught pictures of the monkeys utilizing digital camera traps in 2018. FFI reported the invention late final yr.

The monkey is a candidate to be listed as a critically endangered species on the Pink Listing of the IUCN, the report stated, since solely 200-250 are thought to outlive in the wild, in a handful of locations.

A new sort of begonia with reddish flowers and a berry-like fruit additionally was found in the uplands of Myanmar, the place unlawful mining and logging have change into an more and more dire risk in the nation, which is in the midst of political turmoil after a army takeover a yr in the past.

A frilled tree frog A frilled tree frog is one other newly recognized species. {Photograph}: Nguyen Van Tan/AP

Regardless of human encroachments on tropical forests and different wild zones, a lot of the Better Mekong continues to be little explored and every year dozens of new species are found — a glimmer of hope as so many species go extinct.

Not all new species are found deep in jungles. One of many new plant species is a ginger plant known as “stink bug” for its pungent odour much like massive beetles Thais use to make a sort of chilli dipping paste served with rice, the report stated.

It was found in northeastern Thailand, in a plant store.

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