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Nearly 400 New Species Found in Amazon, WWF Reports

Image: Nearly 400 New Species Found in Amazon, WWF Reports
Scientists have discovered 381 new species in the Amazon rain forest. (Gábor Kovács/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 31 August 2017 03:53 PM

The World Wildlife Fund says nearly 400 new species were discovered in the Amazon rain forest in 2014 and 2015.

A new species of plant or animal is discovered about every two days in the region, the fastest rate for such discoveries during this century, according to the WWF report.

The new species include 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 19 reptiles, one bird, and 20 mammals that were previously unknown to scientists. Since 2000, 2,000 new species have been listed.

All of these discoveries are occurring in areas threatened by human activity, such as building roads and infrastructure in the Amazon.

“This biodiversity needs to be known and protected,” WWF-Brazil Amazon coordinator Ricardo Mello said, adding that development may hurt the economic potential of the area since much of it may come from the biodiversity found in the region.

Mello worried that species may go extinct before they can be fully studied because of development activities in the region, which encompasses nine countries in South America, Brazil being the largest.

Brazil recently passed a decree allowing mining in previously protected areas, but has amended the decree to exclude conservation and indigenous areas from the areas where mining is allowed.

Some of the recent finds include a new species of pink river dolpin, the fire-tailed titi monkey, and a bird named after former U.S. President Barack Obama (Nystalus obamai), WWF reported.

“For the conservation of species, it is necessary to know what they are, how many there are and their distribution. These are key details to ensure that ecological and evolutionary processes are understood and maintained to ensure the species survival,” Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development director Joao Valsecchi do Amaral said, WWF reported.

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The World Wildlife Fund says nearly 400 new species were discovered in the Amazon rain forest in 2014 and 2015.
400, new, species, amazon, wwf
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2017-53-31
Thursday, 31 August 2017 03:53 PM
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