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380 new plant and animal species have been discovered in Asia

380 new plant and animal species have been discovered in Asia

After many long expeditions in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, hundreds of researchers around the world have now discovered 380 new plant and animal species.

– It is very exciting that new species are still being found, but it is not surprising that the nature in the region is not very well researched, and there are still unexplored areas, says Louise Carlson, conservation expert at the WWF.

Among plants, fish, frogs and reptiles, the strangest, according to Louise Carlson, is the mammal – bats, which were imprisoned in Hungary for two decades.

Louise Carlson, conservation expert at the World Wide Fund for Nature. Photo: Saga Sandin

– It’s not common to find mammals, so it’s really exciting! She says they only found one specimen inside a park in Cambodia’s capital.

At the turn of the millennium, the bat was moved to a museum in Hungary where it then remained, for unclear reasons, until recently when the species was analyzed by researchers.

Many species are critically endangered

But rerouted roads and dams, deforestation and industrialization have forced bat species to move to more new places than where they first lived in Cambodia.

-Species are often found in somewhat secluded areas such as a watercourse or in a mountain valley and unfortunately most species are threatened because nature is under a lot of pressure.

Another endangered species discovered in Vietnam is the so-called Thai crocodile salamander, which locals use as a remedy for abdominal pain and parasites.

Contributes to the production of antidote

– They are purely gorgeous in appearance, but unfortunately they are actually very threatened.

Not only does the discovery of new animals and plants contribute to increasing knowledge of our ecosystem, but it is also important for the production of medicines.

– We’ve identified a venomous snake in Myanmar, and the interesting thing about it being so venomous is that now it’s going to be easier to make an antidote, so that’s exciting, says Louise Carlson.

• 290 plants

• 11 fish

• 24 amphibians

• 46 reptiles

• 1 mammal

Source: WWF

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