Ulf Johansson/Swedish Museum of Natural History/AFP/Getty Images
A limestone leaf warbler (Phylloscopus Calciatilis), so-called because it breeds in limestone karsts in Laos and has a loud, unique call, is one of the new species identified in the WWF report.
A limestone leaf warbler (Phylloscopus Calciatilis), so-called because it breeds in limestone karsts in Laos and has a loud, unique call, is one of the new species identified in the WWF report. Ulf Johansson/Swedish Museum of Natural History/AFP/Getty Images
Researchers identified 208 new species in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia in 2010, according to a report (PDF) released by the WWF conservation group Monday.
From the WWF news release:
"A new monkey, a self-cloning skink, five carnivorous plants, and a unique leaf warbler are among the 208 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong region in 2010 and highlighted in a new WWF report."
"A total of 145 plants, 28 reptiles, 25 fish, 7 amphibians, 2 mammals, and 1 bird were all discovered within the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia that spans Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan."
The WWF says that the 208 new species come on top of the 1,345 discovered since 1997.
While scientists and conservationists work to document and protect life in the Mekong River region, the AP quotes a WWF official saying that it's a losing battle:
"'This is a region of extraordinary richness in terms of biodiversity but also one that is extremely fragile,' said Sarah Bladen, communications director for WWF Greater Mekong. 'It's losing biodiversity at a tragic rate.'"