Spectacular New Species Discovered

One of three new Murina bat species, discovered in Bac Huong Hoa Nature Reserve, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, the Murina beelzebub depends on tropical forest for survival—habitats facing severe threats from human pressures. In just four decades, 30 percent of the Greater Mekong’s forests have disappeared.

It’s one of 126 new species discovered by dozens of scientists working for multiple insittutions in 2011 in the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia, covering Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam and the Southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. They are highlighted in a new WWF report. The new species include 82 plants, 21 reptiles, 13 fish, five amphibians and five mammals.

The Mekong region has a breathtaking array of biodiversity, but many of these new species are already struggling to survive in shrinking habitats,” said Dr. Barney Long, WWF Manager of Asian Species Programs. “It’s vital that we increase our support for protected areas and greener economic development if we want these new species protected and to ensure that other intriguing species are discovered in years to come.”

Spectacular New Species Discovered
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