Scientists discover 163 new species in Greater Mekong region: WWF

zsp1A newt discovered in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province, Tylototriton anguliceps, has stunning red and black markings that resemble a Klingon from the movie Star Trek. Photo: Porrawee Pomchote/ WWF

A rainbow-headed snake resembling David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, a dragon-like lizard and a newt that looks like a Klingon from the movie Star Trek are three of the 163 new species discovered recently in the Greater Mekong region, according to a report released today by WWF.

The report “Species Oddity” documents the work of hundreds of scientists who discovered nine amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles, 126 plants and three mammals in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The discoveries also include a rare banana species from Thailand, a tiny frog from Cambodia and a gecko with pale blue spotted skin and piercing dark eyes that was found hiding in the remote mountains of Laos. This brings the total new species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians discovered in the region to 2,409 since WWF began compiling new species reports in 1997.

“The Greater Mekong region is a magnet for the world’s conservation scientists because of the incredible diversity of species that continue to be discovered here,” said Jimmy Borah, Wildlife Programme Manager for WWF-Greater Mekong. “These scientists, the unsung heroes of conservation, know they are racing against time to ensure that these newly discovered species are protected.”

Here are some of the highlights in the discovery:

Highlights of the report include:

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A rainbow-headed snake, Parafimbrios  lao, that some at WWF have likened to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character. It was found among steep karst cliffs in Northern Laos. While originally thought to exist in only one location, it has since been seen in a second one, increasing its chances of survival.

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The Phuket Horned Tree Agamid, Acanthosaura  phuketensis, has a fearsome set of horns on its head and spine and was found among the few remaining forest patches on the popular Thai tourist island of Phuket. It is threatened by rapid habitat loss and collection for the pet trade.

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A rare banana species discovered in Northern Thailand, Musa nanensis, is already considered critically endangered due to increasing deforestation and the fact that only a handful of individual plants have been seen. However, the recent discovery of another small population has given researchers hope for the species.

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A newt discovered in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province, Tylototriton anguliceps, has stunning red and black markings that resemble a Klingon from the movie Star Trek. Its porous skin makes it especially sensitive to pesticides, the main threat alongside deforestation of its habitat.

The Greater Mekong region is under intense development pressure from mines to roads to dams, threatening the survival of the natural landscapes that make it so unique. Poaching for bushmeat or the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade puts additional pressure on the region’s wildlife, meaning many species could be lost before they are even discovered.

“Many collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars or more for the rarest, most unique and most endangered species, often buying them at the region’s illegal wildlife markets, especially in the Golden Triangle region where China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar meet,” Borah said. “To save them, it’s crucial that we improve enforcement against poaching and close illegal wildlife markets as well as the tiger and bear farms that openly flaunt wildlife laws.”

WWF recently launched an ambitious project to disrupt the trade by closing down the biggest markets in the Greater Mekong region. Working with partners and across borders, WWF will attempt to significantly reduce illegal trade in key threatened species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos by promoting species protection legislation, supporting effective transboundary cooperation and improving law enforcement effectiveness at key border crossings.

Source: Coconuts.co

 

The world’s most remote island seeks farmer

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‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’

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Tristan da Cunha is an active volcanic island with rare wildlife and home to 267 British Citizens living in the world’s most isolated settlement of ‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’ far from the madding crowd in the South Atlantic Ocean
The Island that 8.587 kilometer from London light, and 2400 km from Cape Town.

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Tristan da Cunha

http://www.tristandc.com/

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The listing shows up on the website of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and is massively picked up by British media.

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Chiang Rai’s cherry blossoms in full bloom

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Chiang Rai’s wild Himalayan cherry blossoms, locally known as “Thai sakura,” are now in full bloom and ready to be enjoyed by visitors.

As winter disappears, many tourists have been flocking to Wiangkan district to see the pink flowers and take selfies with them.

The Watershed Management Unit of Ngao, where the sakura flowers were grown, will let people take photos and enjoy the sight of the beautiful cherry blossoms until early next month.

They are advised to travel to the Watershed Management Headquarters either via Phu Chi Fa or Wiangkan district, which is just two kilometers away, state media reported.

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Source: Coconuts

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This Incredible Photo Of A Baby Weasel Riding A Woodpecker Is Straight Out Of A Children’s Fantasy Book

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East London resident Martin Le-May captured this incredible photo of a baby weasel on the back of a green woodpecker in Esssex, England, on Monday.

As much as we’d all like to believe this is a wondrous tale of friendship wherein two mates go on an epic adventure featuring a baby weasel and his magnificent flying steed, sadly it’s NOT.

It’s a photo of a weasel trying to kill a woodpecker.

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Le-May spoke to BuzzFeed News about capturing the moment he described as “the struggle for life.”

Le-May, a hobby photographer, was taking a walk with his wife through the Hornchurch Country Park in east London in the hopes of her seeing a green woodpecker for the first time.In an email to BuzzFeed News he described what we’re calling “The Thrilling Tale of The Woodpecker and The Weasel”:

“As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and I saw that flash of green. So hurriedly I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface.

Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.

The woodpecker landed in front of us and I feared the worst. I guess though our presence, maybe 25 meters away, momentarily distracted the weasel. The woodpecker seized the opportunity and flew up and away into some bushes away to our left. Quickly the bird gathered its self respect and flew up into the trees and away from our sight.

The woodpecker left with its life. The weasel just disappeared into the long grass, hungry.”

Khao Yai is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. | Thailand best hotels

Khao Yai is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. It is also the oldest national park in Thailand.
You need to see it with your own eyes before you can imaging the beauty.
Nature and wildlife is so different that you not can imagine until you have seen it.
Among the dense tropical vegetation living birds, reptiles, carnivorous and herbivorous mammals and many other species. Khao Yai is the oldest and second largest national park in Thailand.
If you are lucky to visit it, you can see even elephants or tigers.
Beside the park you can see the beautful waterfalls and small rivers.
We help you with the choice of your trip and bookings.

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Gerrit.Tienkamp‘s insight:

Khao Yai is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand.

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