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 Show” character – were made by an international team of scientists and researchers working across five countries in the vast biodiverse region during a two-year period from 2021 to 2022.

“These remarkable species may be new to science but they have survived and evolved in the Greater Mekong region for millions of years, reminding us humans that they were there a very long time before our species moved into this region,” said K. Yoganand, WWF’s Greater Mekong regional wildlife lead.

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Kathleen Magramo