Cambodia’s bent-toed gecko, Cardamom leaf-litter frog among new species discovered in Greater Mekong: WWF

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Phnom Penh– A bent toed gecko and a Cardamom leaf-litter frog in Cambodia are among the 224 newly discovered species in the Greater Mekong subregion in 2020, a World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) report released on Wednesday said.

A total of 155 plants, 16 fishes, 17 amphibians, 35 reptiles and one mammal were discovered in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the report said, adding that this brought the total number of vascular plants, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals described in the Greater Mekong since 1997 to 3,007.

“With over 3,000 new species in the past 24 years, the Greater Mekong region is no doubt a world heavyweight contender for species discoveries,” Xinhua news agency reported citing K. Yoganand, WWF-Greater Mekong’s regional lead for wildlife.

“These species are extraordinary, beautiful products of millions of years of evolution, but are under intense threat, with many species going extinct even before they are described,” he said. “They require our greatest respect, utmost attention and urgent actions to protect their habitats and minimize exploitation.”

According to the report, the bent-toed gecko was discovered in an isolated rocky mountain at the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Cambodia, and this yellow spotted gecko has a unique elongated body and snout compared to other species in its group.

The Cardamom leaf-litter frog was spotted in the Cardamom Mountains at Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia’s western Pursat province, and the frog has a very narrow range restricted to an incredibly specific location, and is the first species of this genus to be named in the Cardamom Mountains. (IANS)

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