Zee Media Bureau\Philaso G Kaping
London: A monkey which purrs when contented, a vegetarian piranha, a shy lizard---these are some of the amazing new species discovered over the past four years in the Amazon rainforest.
Compiled by the World Wildlife Fund, the new species include 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and 1 mammal.
Damian Fleming, Head of Programmes for Brazil and the Amazon at WWF-UK, said: “The more scientists look, the more they find. With an average of two new species identified every week for the past four years, it’s clear that the extraordinary Amazon remains one of the most important centres of global biodiversity.”
Covering an area of 5,500,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq mi), the Amazon encompasses the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
The WWF also mentioned that these newly discovered plants and animals are thought to be endemic to small parts of the Amazon rainforest which makes them even more vulnerable to the threat of deforestation that’s currently destroying three football pitches of rainforest every minute across the Amazon.
“The richness of the Amazon’s forests and freshwater habitats continues to amaze the world,” added Fleming. “But these same habitats are also under growing threat. The discovery of these new species reaffirms the importance of stepping-up commitments to conserve and sustainably manage the unique biodiversity and also the goods and services provided by the rainforests to the people and businesses of the region.”