158 out of 380 new species found in the Greater Mekong region were discovered in Viet Nam, according to the recent WWF’s report titled “New species discoveries in the Greater Mekong 2021 – 2022”. This report was published on 22 May on occasion of the International Day of Biodiversity to celebrate and recognise the discoveries of new species of vascular plants and vertebrate animals in the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia, which are comprised of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Among 380 newfound species, there are 290 new species of plants, 19 of fish, 24 of amphibians, 46 of reptiles, and 01 of mammal.
Some new species discovered in Viet Nam were highlighted in the report, including: (i) Begonia Catbensis (plant) found in Cat Ba National Park; (ii) Rhododendron (plant) with pretty white flowers on Mount Fansipan of the Hoang Lien Son range; (iii) Nephoanthus (plant) on the Langliang Plateau in Khanh Hoa province; (iv) Meadia Minor (animal) in Quy Nhon province; (v) Quasipaa Taoi (animal) on Mount Ngoc Linh, the highest peak in the Central Viet Nam; (vi) Theloderma Khoii (animal) in Ha Giang province; (vii) Tylototriton Thaiorum (animal) in the tropical forest of Pu Hoat Nature Reserve, Nghe An province; (vii) Subdoluseps Viet Namensis (animal) in Ba Ria Vung Tau and Binh Thuan provinces; (viii) Xenopeltis Intermedius (animal) in the Central Annamites.
The Greater Mekong Region is part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot and home of many global endangered species such as Indochinese tiger, Asian elephant, giant freshwater stingray, Sunda pangolin, etc. These species are on the brink of extinction due to massive deforestation, over-exploitation, pollution, population growth, and economic development. “Wonder that there are still countless species yet to be found and trepidation that there isn’t enough time to find, understand and conserve them. There are many creatures that have disappeared before we have even named them… Conversation measures for ecosystems and wildlife species need more attention from government agencies, NGOs, and the general public,” shared Prof. Dr. Truong Q. Nguyen, Vice Director of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology.
Fully aware of the risk of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in Viet Nam, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have coordinated with line ministries, departments, local authorities, agencies, and organisations to issue the legal framework and policies on biodiversity conversation, as well as to develop guidelines and directives on ecosystem restoration towards climate change adaptation, disaster prevention, and sustainability.