Flying frog among 353 new Himalayan species: WWF
Kathmandu, Aug 10: A flying frog, the world's
smallest deer and the first new monkey to be found in over a
century are among 350 new species discovered in the eastern
Himalayas in the past decade, the WWF said on Monday.
But the environmental group said the vital habitats of
the mountain range were facing growing pressures from
unsustainable development in the region, which spans Nepal,
China, India, Bhutan and Myanmar.
In a report released here, it said climate change,
deforestation, overgrazing by domestic livestock and illegal
poaching and wildlife trading threatened one of the
biologically richest areas of the planet.
"In the last half-century, this area of South Asia has
faced a wave of pressures as a result of population growth and
the increasing demand for commodities," said the report, "The
Eastern Himalayas -- Where Worlds Collide."
"Only 25 percent of the original habitats in the region
remain intact. For the unique species of the Eastern
Himalayas, this means that today 163 are considered globally
threatened," it said.
The WWF said 353 new species were discovered in the
region between 1998 and 2008, among them a red-footed tree
frog known as a "flying frog" because its large webbed feet
allow it to glide when falling.