A biological treasure trove | WWF

New Species on the Block

Head of Gyiophis salweenensis © WWF
A bat that could be a member of the band *NSYNC, a catfish that looks like a pancake and a toad straight from Middle Earth are among the 157 newly discovered species from the Greater Mekong region in 2017. These amazing species are a sign that even though the region is facing enormous challenges to its diverse ecosystems, wildlife species are still being discovered at an incredible rate. READ MORE

Stranger Species

A crocodile lizard that has been turned into a cartoon character, a snail-eating turtle discovered in a Thai food market and a horseshoe bat that would not look out of place in a Star Wars movie are just three of the 115 new species discovered by scientists in the Greater Mekong region in 2016

Euroscaptor orlovi © WWF

► Find out about the flagship species WWF works to protect in the Greater Mekong region, as well as others that are critical to the integrity of ecosystems

Species Oddity

163 new species were discovered in the Greater Mekong region in 2015.

Acanthosaura phuketensis © WWF
A rainbow-headed snake, a dragon-like lizard and a newt that looks like a Klingon from Star Trek are just three of the 163 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region in 2015. READ MORE

Magical Mekong

139 beautiful and bizarre new species discovered in 2014

Gracixalus lumarius © WWF
In 2014, new species included a soul-sucking “dementor” wasp, a color-changing thorny frog, a stealthy wolf snake, the 10,000th reptile species discovered in the world, a bat with remarkable fangs, a new crocodile newt, a feathered coral, four Thai “Princess” moths, the world’s second-longest insect, and two orchids discovered through the wildlife trade. READ MORE

Mysterious Mekong

367 species newly described by scientists in 2012 and 2013

The Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), a new bird species discovered in 2013. © WWF
Adding to the fantastic bestiary of creatures living in the Greater Mekong are new characters such as the Cambodian Tailorbird, Laotian giant flying squirrel, ‘hunch-bat of Vietnam’, an iridescent-coloured rainbow lizard, a fish who is ahead of the reproduction game, the ‘Zorro’-masked water snake, a salmon-coloured orchid and a primitive whiteheaded viper. Read more

Extra Terrestrial

126 species new to science in 2011

A visually stunning ‘yin-yang’ frog (Leptobrachium
leucops), just one of five new amphibian species discovered in the region in 2011. 
© WWF
A new bat named after its devilish appearance, a subterranean blind fish, a ruby-eyed pit viper, and a frog that sings like a bird are among the 126 species newly identified by scientists in the Greater Mekong region in 2011, and described in a new WWF report, Extra Terrestrial. Read more

Wild Mekong

208 species new to science in 2010

A new psychedelic gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica) species was discovered in 2010 on Hon Khoai Island, Ca Mau Province, Ngoc Hien District, 18 km off the southern tip of the Ca Mu Peninsula in southern Vietnam. © WWF
A new monkey, a self-cloning skink, five carnivorous plants, and a unique leaf warbler are among the 208 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong region in 2010 and highlighted in the latest WWF report, Wild Mekong. Read more

New Blood

145 new species described in 2009

Dracula fish (Danionella Dracula) is one of the 145 species newly described by science in the Greater Mekong during 2009. © WWF
A seven meter tall carnivorous plant, a fish with vampire fangs, and a frog that sounds like a cricket are among 145 new species described last year in the Greater Mekong, reaffirming the region as one of the most significant biological hotspots on the planet ahead of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, October 2010. Read more...

Close Encounters

163 species new to science in 2008

Cat Ba leopard gecko (Goniurosaurus catbaensis) found exclusively in Cat Ba Island National Park in northern Vietnam. This species was one of the new species discovered in the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia during 2008. © WWF
This report highlights the extraordinary discovery of 163 new species in the Greater Mekong region in 2008 alone. This report was launched in September 2009 prior to the UN climate change talks in Bangkok, highlighting what could be lost if the threat of climate change is not urgently addressed. Read more...

First Contact

Over 1000 new species discoveries between 1997-2007

The Gumprechts Green Pitviper is but one of 1068 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong in the last decade (1997-2007) © WWF
Launched in December 2008, this was WWF Greater Mekong's first new species report making worldwide headlines announcing the discovery of 1068 new species in the Greater Mekong between 1997 and 2007. Read more...