A rainbow-headed snake resembling David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, a dragon-like lizard and a newt that looks like a Klingon from the movie Star Trek are three of the 163 new species discovered recently in the Greater Mekong region, according to a report released by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The report, Species Oddity, documents the work of hundreds of scientists who discovered nine amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles, 126 plants and three mammals in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The discoveries also include a rare banana species from Thailand, a tiny frog from Cambodia and a gecko with pale blue spotted skin and piercing dark eyes that was found hiding among the remote mountains of Laos.
This brings the total new species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians discovered in the region to 2,409 since WWF began compiling new species reports in 1997.
The Greater Mekong region is a magnet for the world’s conservation scientists because of the incredible diversity of species that continue to be discovered here, Wildlife Programme Manager for WWF-Greater Mekong Jimmy Borah said.
These scientists, the unsung heroes of conservation, know they are racing against time to ensure that these newly discovered species are protected.
Highlights of the report include a rainbow-headed snake, Parafimbrioslao, that has been likened to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character.
It was found among steep karst cliffs in northern Laos and while originally thought to exist in only one location, it has since been seen in a second one, increasing its chances of survival.
Source: Vientiane Times