Other featured creatures among the 208 new finds include a lizard that reproduces via cloning without the need for male lizards, a fish that resembles a gherkin, and five species of carnivorous pitcher plant, some of which lure in and consume rats and even birds.”Mekong governments have to stop thinking about biodiversity protection as a cost and recognise it as an investment to ensure long-term stability,” Mr Chapman said.
“The region’s treasure trove of biodiversity will be lost if governments fail to invest in the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, which is so fundamental to ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change.”
Despite restrictions, trade in wildlife remains an active threat to a range of endangered animals in the region, with some hunted because body parts – such as rhinoceros horns – are coveted ingredients in traditional Asian medicine.
Others, such as Mekong dolphins, face threats from fishing gear such as gill nets and illegal fishing methods, prompting the WWF in August to warn that one dolphin population in the river was at high risk of extinction.
The Greater Mekong region covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan.