Nearly 400 new species discovered in the Amazon
Author: Laura Chalk
A fiery-orange tailed monkey, a new species of pink river dolphin and a stingray resembling a cross between a pancake and honey comb are among the hundreds of new species discovered in the Amazon over the past two years.
A new report, released by the Living Amazon Initiative – a partnership between conservation group the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Brazil’s Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development - details the 381 species discovered. They include one bird, 19 reptiles, 20 mammals, 32 amphibians, 93 fish and 216 plants.
A new animal or plant species is discovered in the Amazon every two days – “the fastest to be observed this century”, the WWF said.
What amazed experts was the number of large mammals and reptiles that had managed to evade detection for so long.
Many of the newly-discovered species are under threat, including from deforestation, which is the case for the orange-tailed titi monkey.
The new species of pink river dolphin is estimated to have a population of about 1000, with low levels of genetic diversity. Potential threats include the construction of hydroelectric dams and industrial, agricultural and cattle ranching activities. Pink river dolphins are an integral part of local culture around the Amazon, with many myths and legends around them.
A species of puffbird, Nystalus obamai, has even been named after the former president of the United States, Barack Obama. The bird thrives in protected areas throughout Peru and Brazil.
The creation of more protected areas is among the strategies cited in the report to lessen the negative impact of the development that the Amazon is and will continue to be subject to. There is also a call to maintain protected areas, with controversial plans to dissolve these regions for mining and other industrial development.
WWF Brazil Amazon program coordinator Ricardo Mello says the discoveries are “a signal that we still have much to learn about the Amazon.” And, that it was a reminder biodiversity “needs to be known and protected.” In an age of rapid development and habitat destruction, this reminder is more relevant than ever.
- Play your part in conservation efforts near you, by volunteering with local environmental and conservation groups. For example, National Tree Day in Australia.
- By lowering our dependence on fossil fuels, we reduce the need for more mines and other industrial developments to occur – relieving pressure on habitats for wildlife. Consider how you can lower your carbon footprint and in doing so, help biodiversity to thrive.
- Stay up-to-date with the conservation efforts of WWF here.
Subscribe to Positive Environment News
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Author: Laura ChalkLaura joined Planet Ark in 2016. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having travelled the world and a background in teaching English as a second language among other things.
- World's largest trees given new hope for preservation »
- Brush-tailed phascogale makes a surprise appearance on revegetated islands »
- Decades of community action brings a disappearing frogmouth back from the brink »
- Back from the brink: recent 'baby boom' offers new hope for endangered southern right whale »
- Picky plants: Growing green in difficult environments »
- How indoor plants can give city-slickers a literal breath of fresh air »
- Island sanctuary brings hope to dwindling quokka population »
- 1.5 million people, 12 hours, 66 million trees: India's commitment to The Paris Agreement »
- The little Brown Antechinus makes a comeback at Sydney's North Head »
- How you can make the most of Planet Ark's new research into outdoor learning »
- Capturing Carbon to Tackle Climate Change »
- Futureproofing the Lockyer Valley with 20'000 trees »
- Dugong Numbers on the Rise Again in the Great Barrier Reef »
- Answering the Call to Connect With Nature »
- Scientist Discover Massive New Forests »
- 'Creature Compost' - Zoo Reduces Landfill and Generates Income »
- Travel Companies Put Kindness Before Profit in Animal Tourism »
- Thousands of Birds Descend Upon Inland Lakes »
- Trees Help Beat Urban Heat »
- Chile's National Parks Expand by 10 Million Acres »
- Old Televisions Converted to Bee Hotels »
- What if Rivers Could Sue? »
- Access to Nature Should be a Human Right - Report »
- Rock-Wallabies Fighting Back »
- Scientists Use Tasmanian Devil's Immune System to Beat Cancer »
- New Coral Reef Rewrites Textbooks »
- Launch of Positive Environment News »