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70 New Species Discovered In Vietnam: WWF Report

According to a report released by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last week, 70 new species were found in Vietnam last year, many of which are at risk due to human activity.

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The new species announced in the Magical Mekong Report included a bat with long fangs (Hypsugo dolichodon), (Phryganistria heusii yentuensis) the world’s second longest insect at 53 centimeters and a color-changing frog (Graciaxal lumarius) that sports conical white thorns on its back, according to The Saigon Times.

“Some of these species are unique to Vietnam with many still to be discovered,” Van Ngoc Thinh, country director of WWF-Vietnam said in a statement regarding the new discoveries.

The report found 139 new species across the Greater Mekong region that consists of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Of the total, 90 were plants, 23 reptiles, 16 amphibians, nine fish and one mammal.

Between 1997 and 2014, 2,216, or three new species per a week have been identified in the region.

Carlos Drews, director of WWF’s Global Species Program, said that many of the newly discovered species are at threat due to the construction of roads, increasing deforestation rates and illegal poaching.

“As Magical Mekong reveals, the scientists behind these discoveries feel they are racing against the clock to document them and strongly advocate for their protection before they disappear,” said Teak Seng, Conservation Director for WWF-Greater Mekong.

This sad reality isn't limited to the Mekong region. According to a recent report in The Guardian, the number of wild animals on Earth has halved over the past 40 years.

You can read the full Magical Mekong Report here.

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