Biodiversity

Animals

Ancient alligator species identified in Thailand

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown alligator species with a distinct skull structure that thrived in ancient Thailand about 230,000 years ago, offering additional insights into the evolutionary history of Asian alligators, according to a new study. The creature in question shares a close evolutionary relationship ...

Subel Rai Bhandari for RFA

Cooperation with China crucial to protect rare Mekong River dolphins in Cambodia: official

PHNOM PENH, July 15 (Xinhua) — The ongoing cooperation with China is essential to help protect critically endangered Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia, a senior official said on Thursday. Phay Somany, deputy director of the Fisheries Conservation Department at the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia’s Ministry ...

huaxia

As Laos develops, can it make space for wild elephants?

Mae Sengchan and Mae Kham meandered down the banks of the Mekong River in Laos, munching on bunches of bananas and piles of sugarcane. In their mid-to-late-fifties, the rescued pair of endangered Asian elephants are far past their logging days. The two are now in the ...

BEATRICE SIVIERO and ANTON L. DELGADO

Hundreds of newly discovered species under threat in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region

Nearly 400 species only just discovered in Asia’s Greater Mekong region could soon become extinct due to loss of habitat caused by human activity, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned in a report published Monday. The discoveries – including an orchid that looks like a “Muppet ...

Kathleen Magramo

SE Asia’s COVID legacy is less wildlife trade, but more hunting, study finds

The COVID-19 pandemic, which began spreading in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, China, shone a spotlight on zoonotic diseases and the risks that markets selling wild meat can pose to human health. Following the outbreak, some countries like China temporarily closed down wet markets, while ...

Spoorthy Raman

Perspective | Giant Catch in the Mekong Reveals Mysteries of Biodiversity Hot Spot

The Mekong River, the longest waterway in Southeast Asia, is often called the world’s most productive river because it holds a greater abundance of freshwater fish than any other river basin on the planet. From an ecological standpoint, there is one stretch of the river, in ...

Stefan Lovgren, special to Circle of Blue

How the race for a Covid vaccine enriched monkey poachers and endangered macaques

Gary Tucker was attending a conference on monkeys used in medical research when he spotted some uninvited guests: agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  As they walked in and out of the Colorado hotel, Tucker, an executive at a monkey import company, hid in ...

Rich Schapiro, Anna Schecter, Andrew W. Lehren and Anton L. Delgado

Cambodia’s Mekong dolphin is dying despite efforts to save it

The fishing gangs visit the river at night and the rangers do nothing to stop them. Working in large groups, the boatmen use fishing methods that have long been outlawed in this part of the mighty Mekong River like gillnetting, which uses nets that hang like ...

Saqib Rahim

China, Vietnam, Laos are hotspots for the criminal wildlife trade: does Asia really care about biodiversity?

Pangolin scales at US$160 a kilogram, monkeys and wild cats for sale – the online trade in protected and rare species is thriving in Laos, a key Southeast Asian gateway to the insatiable Chinese and Vietnamese markets for animal products. As world leaders gather in Egypt ...

Aidan Jones

Tiger seizures up in parts of Asia despite conservation efforts - report

Wildlife authorities in some Asian countries are seeing an increase in seizures of tigers and tiger parts despite efforts by conservationists to protect the endangered animal, according to a report by wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC. Tiger numbers globally have been decimated by poaching, trade, and habitat ...

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff Editing by Ed Davies

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