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New species, old threats to Mekong wildlife: WWF

Published on Dec 18, 2012 3:42 PM

HANOI (AFP) - From a devilish-looking bat to a frog that sings like a bird, scientists have identified 129 new species in the Greater Mekong area, the WWF said on Tuesday in a new report detailing discoveries in 2011.

But from forest loss to the construction of major hydropower projects on the Mekong River, existing threats to the region's biodiversity mean many of the new species are already struggling to survive, the conservation group warned.

"The good news is new discoveries. The bad news is that it is getting harder and harder in the world of conservation and environmental sustainability," Mr Nick Cox, manager of WWF-Greater Mekong's Species Programme, told AFP.

Some 129 species were newly recorded last year in the Greater Mekong region, which consists of Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

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