Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hundreds Of New Species Discovered In Eastern Himalayas

Date:
August 11, 2009
Source:
World Wildlife Fund
Summary:
Over 350 new species including the world's smallest deer, a "flying frog" and a 100-million-year old gecko have been discovered in the Eastern Himalayas, a biological treasure trove now threatened by climate change. A decade of research carried out by scientists in remote mountain areas endangered by rising global temperatures brought exciting discoveries such as a bright green frog that uses its red and long webbed feet to glide in the air.

Flying frog (Rhacophorus suffry). The bright green, red-footed tree frog was described in 2007. It is a 'flying frog' because long webbed feet allow the species to glide when falling.
Credit: Copyright Totul Bortamuli / WWF Nepal

Over 350 new species including the world’s smallest deer, a “flying frog” and a 100 million-year old gecko have been discovered in the Eastern Himalayas, a biological treasure trove now threatened by climate change.

A decade of research carried out by scientists in remote mountain areas endangered by rising global temperatures brought exciting discoveries such as a bright green frog that uses its red and long webbed feet to glide in the air.

One of the most significant findings was not exactly “new” in the classic sense. A 100-million year-old gecko, the oldest fossil gecko species known to science, was discovered in an amber mine in the Hukawng Valley in the northern Myanmar.

The WWF report The Eastern Himalayas – Where Worlds Collide details discoveries made by scientists from various organizations between 1998 and 2008 in a region reaching across Bhutan and north-east India to the far north of Myanmar as well as Nepal and southern parts of Tibet Autonomus Region (China).

“The good news of this explosion in species discoveries is tempered by the increasing threats to the Himalayas’ cultural and biological diversity,” said Jon Miceler, Director of WWF’s Eastern Himalayas Program. “This rugged and remarkable landscape is already seeing direct, measurable impacts from climate change and risks being lost forever.”

In December world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to reach an agreement on a new climate deal, which will replace the existing Kyoto Protocol.

The Eastern Himalayas- Where Worlds Collide describes more than 350 new species discovered - including 244 plants, 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, 2 birds, 2 mammals and at least 60 new invertebrates.

The report mentions the miniature muntjac, also called the “leaf deer,” which is the world’s oldest and smallest deer species. Scientists initially believed the small creature found in the world’s largest mountain range was a juvenile of another species but DNA tests confirmed the light brown animal with innocent dark eyes was a distinct and new species.

The Eastern Himalayas harbor a staggering 10,000 plant species, 300 mammal species, 977 bird species, 176 reptiles, 105 amphibians and 269 types of freshwater fish. The region also has the highest density of Bengal tigers in the world and is the last bastion of the charismatic greater one-horned rhino.

WWF is working to conserve the habitat of endangered species such as snow leopards, Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, red pandas, takin, golden langurs, Gangetic dolphins and one-horned rhinos.

Historically, the rugged and largely inaccessible landscape of the Eastern Himalayas has made biological surveys in the region extremely difficult. As a result, wildlife has remained poorly surveyed and there are large areas that are still biologically unexplored.

Today further species continue to be unearthed and many more species of amphibians, reptiles and fish are currently in the process of being officially named by scientists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Wildlife Fund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Wildlife Fund. "Hundreds Of New Species Discovered In Eastern Himalayas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810162148.htm>.
World Wildlife Fund. (2009, August 11). Hundreds Of New Species Discovered In Eastern Himalayas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810162148.htm
World Wildlife Fund. "Hundreds Of New Species Discovered In Eastern Himalayas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810162148.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins