Conservationists have discovered a big batch of new — and interesting-sounding — creatures in Southeast Asia, including a psychedelic gecko and a monkey with something resembling Elvis’ hairstyle.
The Huffington Post reports that the WWF made the finds, 208 creatures in total, in a biodiverse region straddling the Mekong River threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment. China, Burma (also known as Myanmar), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all share — uneasily at times — the Mekong.
One of the picks of the new discoveries: a nose-less monkey swinging from the trees of a remote province of northeast Burma. “While this species, sporting an Elvis-like hairstyle, is new to science, the local people of Myanmar know it well,” the Switzerland-based group said in its report released Monday.
The remote Mekong region, part of the Golden Triangle infamous for drug trafficking, plays host to some of earth’s most endangered species, such as tigers, Asian elephants, Mekong dolphins and Mekong giant catfish, according to the WWF. The organization announced in October that the Javan rhinoceros became extinct in Vietnam and the 40 to 60 that remain can only be found now in Indonesia.
“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.”
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