Ghostly monkey and crocodile newts among new Mekong area species

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation group has published a list of 224 newly discovered species from the greater Mekong region.

They include a monkey with ghostly white circles around its eyes, frogs, newts and the only known succulent bamboo species, a WWF report says.

Some of the world’s most endangered species in the area face extinction even before they have been identified.

The Mekong region includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

A big-headed frog Leptobrachium lunatumIMAGE SOURCE,©PIOTR NASKRECKI VIA PA MEDIA
Image caption,

A big-headed frog is among the newly-discovered species
A newt with a racing stripe, or the Tylototriton phukhaensisIMAGE SOURCE,©PORRAWEE POMCHOTE VIA PA MEDIA
Image caption,

A newt with a racing stripe, also known as a crocodile newt
Amomum foetidum, a plant from the ginger familyIMAGE SOURCE,© THAWATPHONG BOONMA VIA PA MEDIA
Image caption,

The Amomum foetidum is a plant from the ginger family

“These species are extraordinary, beautiful products of millions of years of evolution,” K. Yoganand, WWF-Greater Mekong’s regional lead for wildlife and wildlife crime, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The officials added that the species were “under intense threat”, with many of them “going extinct even before they are described”.

Risks to the species in the richly biodiverse area in South-East Asia include habitat destruction, the introduction of diseases by humans and the illegal trade in wildlife, the WWF says.

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