The 224 discoveries underlined the rich biodiversity of the Mekong region, which encompasses Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and was testament to the resilience of nature in surviving in fragmented and degraded natural habitats, WWF said.
Including this latest list, scientists have identified more than 3,000 new species in the region since 1997, the WWF said.
Scientists used measurements and samples from museum collections to compare and identify key differences with features of the newly discovered animals and plants, the report said.
Studying such differences can help determine the range of species and threats to their survival, Thomas Ziegler, a curator at the University of Cologne’s Institute of Zoology, said in introducing the report.
“These species are extraordinary, beautiful products of millions of years of evolution, but are under intense threat, with many species going extinct even before they are described,” said K Yoganand, WWF-Greater Mekong’s regional lead for wildlife and wildlife crime.
The area is home to some of the world’s most endangered species, at risk of habitat destruction, diseases from human activities and the illegal wildlife trade.
A United Nations report last year said wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia was creeping back after a temporary disruption from coronavirus restrictions, which saw countries shut borders and tighten surveillance.
Source: Channel News Asia