A psychedelic gecko and a monkey with an Elvis hairdo are among 208 new species described last year by scientists in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, according to a report released Monday by the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The World Wildlife Fund said in a report, that the animals were discovered in a biodiverse region that is threatened by habitat loss, deforestation, climate change and overdevelopment. The newly described species include a psychedelic gecko in southern Vietnam and a nose-less monkey in a remote province of Burma, also known as Myanmar, that looks as if it wears a pompadour. According to the Swiss group while this species, sporting an Elvis-like
hairstyle, is new to science, the local people of Myanmar know it well. The region is home to some of the world’s most endangered species, including tigers, Asian elephants, Mekong dolphins and Mekong giant catfish. The Mekong flows through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Sarah Bladen, communications director for WWF Greater Mekong thinks that this is a region of extraordinary richness in terms of biodiversity but also one that is extremely fragile. It’s losing biodiversity at a tragic rate.