Scientists discover 224 new species in the Mekong region
The World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, has identified 224 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region in 2020. The region includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
Among the species is a monkey with white circles around the eyes. The list also included many newly identified reptiles, frogs and newts, fish and 155 plant species.
WWF report highlights need to protect wildlife wealth habitats in the Mekong. The report says the findings demonstrate the species’ strength to survive in environments threatened by deforestation, disease and other damage.
K. Yoganand is WWF’s Mekong Lead for Wildlife and Wildlife Crime. He told Reuters the new species represent “beautiful products of millions of years of evolution.” Today, however, they are “under intense threat,” Yoganand said, with many species disappearing even before they are described.
The newly discovered monkey is called the Popa langur. It gets its name from the fact that it lives on the slopes of the ancient Mount Popa volcano in Myanmar.
A new type of begonia plant with reddish flowers and a berry-like fruit has also been found in a hilly region of Myanmar. The region has a problem with illegal mining and registration.
Scientists have now identified more than 3,000 new species in the Mekong region since 1997, WWF said.
The scientists used measurements and samples public collections to compare and identify important elements of newly discovered animals and plants, according to the report.
Researchers say identifying new species can be difficult and sometimes requires several different methods. In one case, frog calls and genetic data were combined to differentiate frog from cardamom leaf litter. The animal was found high in the Cardamom Mountains in a protected wildlife area.
Some species can be found in more than one country, including the bright orange twin slug snake.
The Popa langur was identified on the genetic basis corresponding to. Recently collected bones were compared with samples from Britain’s Natural History Museum discovered more than a century ago.
WWF worked with Fauna and Flora International, FFI, to capture images of the monkeys using camera traps in 2018. FFI reported the find late last year.
The monkey is a candidate for listing as a critically endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, says the report. Only 200-250 of the monkeys are thought to survive in the wild.
I am Brian Lynn.
The Associated Press, Reuters and the World Wildlife Fund reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.
We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our facebook page.
words in this story
species – nm a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants
habitat – nm the natural environment of a plant or animal
evolution – nm a gradual process of change and development
registration – nm the activity of felling trees in order to obtain wood that can be sold
to taste – nm a small amount of something that gives you information about the thing it was taken from
match – nm person or thing that is equal to another person or thing