A flying frog, the world’s smallest deer and a green viper feature among 353 new species found in a decade of research into the eastern Himalayas.
The discoveries from 1998 to 2008 put the region on par with Indonesian island of Borneo as a “biological hotspot,” the World Wildlife Fund International said on Aug. 9th in a report titled the Eastern Himalayas: Where Worlds Collide. The findings show the importance of protecting the area, which spans northern Myanmar and India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.
The species uncovered include 16 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 14 fish, two birds, two mammals and 61 invertebrates, as well as 242 plants. The finds include the Arunachal macaque, the first new monkey described by scientists in more than a century, the venomous emerald-green pit viper, and the fossil of the oldest gecko species, trapped in amber and dating back 100 million years.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates there are 8 million to 14 million plants and animals in the world, of which only 1.8 million have been documented. We have a lot to discover!