South East Asia Holds Thousands of Newly Discovered Species

December 15, 2008

South East Asia (ChattahBox) – The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) has released a new report that estimates over one thousand species of vertebrates (as well as several thousand invertebrates) have been discovered over the last decade in South East Asia.

Most of the fascinating finds – such as a spider with a 30 centimeter leg span, and a centipede that produces cyanide from it’s hot pink skin – were found in the uninhabited and untouched jungles and wetlands that litter the region. But others were found in established villages, cities, even in the middle of market places, making it one of the most surprising, and life rich, areas in the world.

“This region is like what I read about as a child in the stories of Charles Darwin,” Cologne Zoo director Dr Thomas Ziegler told reporters. “It is a great feeling being in an unexplored area and to document its biodiversity for the first time; both enigmatic and beautiful.”

These discoveries, as well as the promise of more to come, have caused scientists to begin urging officials to begin conservation efforts. Fear that the region’s environment may be under threat as poverty reigns, and further industrial development continues, is very real.

“Who knows what else is out there waiting to be discovered, but what is clear is that there is plenty more where this came from,” said Stuart Chapman, leader of the WWF’s Greater Mekong Program. “The scientific world is only just realizing what people here have known for centuries.”


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