Ghostly monkeys in 224 new Mekong region seeds

Bangkok (AP) — A monkey with a haunted white circle around its eyes is one of the 224 new species listed in the latest update of the World Wildlife Fund for the Greater Mekong Subregion.

A Conservation Group report released Wednesday highlights the need to conserve the rich biodiversity and habitat of the region, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

The species listed were discovered in 2020, but last year’s report was delayed. The monkey, a new species of poppara ghoul found at the extinct Popa volcano in Myanmar, was the only new mammal. There are also dozens of newly identified reptiles, frogs, newts, fish and 155 plant species, including the only known succulent bamboo species found in Laos.

The Mekong region is a biodiversity hotspot, home to tigers, Asian elephants, saolas (a very rare animal also known as Asian unicorns or spindle horns) and thousands of other species.

Including this latest list, WWF states that scientists have identified more than 3,000 new species in the region since 1997.

Scientists use measurements and samples from the museum’s collection to compare and identify significant differences from newly discovered flora and fauna features, the report said.

Thomas Ziegler, curator of the Institute of Zoology, University of Cologne, wrote in a report that studying these differences can help determine the range of species and their threat to survival.

However, care must be taken in identifying new species, including frog calls found in the highlands of the Cardamom Mountains in wildlife sanctuaries and genetic data used to distinguish small cardamom leaf frogs. In some cases, it can only be determined by the method.

Some species have been found in multiple countries, including bright orange twin slug snakes that consume slugs.

Popalangur, a new monkey species, was discovered based on a genetic match between recently collected bones and specimens from the British Museum of Natural History collected over a century ago, the report said. The two main features were a wide white ring around the eyes and a positive whiskers.

WWF, in collaboration with Fauna & Flora International, used a camera trap to capture images of monkeys in 2018. FFI reported the discovery at the end of last year.

According to the report, monkeys are candidates for endangered species on the IUCN Red List, and it is believed that only 200-250 species survive in the wild.

A new type of begonia with reddish flowers and berry-like fruits has also been found in the highlands of Myanmar. Myanmar is in the midst of political turmoil after a military takeover, and illegal mining and logging poses an increasingly dire threat. one year ago.

Despite human invasion of tropical forests and other wilderness areas, much of the Greater Mekong Subregion has yet to be explored and dozens of new species are discovered each year. Hope glimpses as many species become extinct.

Not all new species are found deep in the jungle. One of the new plant species is a ginger plant called “smell bug” because of the pungent odor similar to the large beetle that Thais use to make a kind of chili soaked paste served with rice. ..

Found in a botanical store in northeastern Thailand.