A whopping number of over 200 new species were found in the Himalayas within just the last couple of years, bringing clear proof that the true extent of biodiversity on our planet is not fully understood yet.
- The Himalayas are considered one of the world’s richest plains in biodiversity
- The area hosts 10,000 species of plants, 977 species of birds, 300 species of mammals, 269 species of fish, 176 species of reptiles, and 105 species of amphibians
- The WWF reports new 113 species of plants, one bird, one mammal, 26 species of fish, one reptile, and 10 species of amphibians
- Only 25% of the habitats on the Eastern Himalayas are still intact
The Himalayas is one of the most biologically rich area in our world, that stretches across a vast region of Asia, and holds nine of the ten greatest summits on Earth, including Mount Everest. It’s also home to an incredible number of wildlife species, specifically 10,000 plants, 977 birds, 300 mammals, 269 freshwater fish, 176 reptiles, 105 amphibians, and the world’s biggest concentration of the Bengal Tiger.
It’s a true wonder of our world that hosts an astounding range of fascinating and unique species. The World Wide Fund (WWF) was glad to reveal that another 211 have been added to the Himalayas’ stunning diversity between 2009 and 2014. Meaning that each major region around the long stretch found an average of 34 new species across their lands.
The repots have it that in the past five years, they found an amazing number of 133 new plant species, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, one mammal, one bird, and one reptile. It’s an incredible revelation that more are emerging even in spite of industries like mining, oil, and gas that conduct their activity in that area.
According to Phuntsho Choden from the WWF Bhutan, this is a significant indicator of the boasted rich biodiversity within the region, but it also raises the challenge on how to protect this beautiful part of nature. At the moment, only 25% of the Eastern Himalayas have intact wild habitats due to human development.
Problems such as wildlife poaching and pollution are also highly devastating to the region.
And yet, it seems some not only survive, but thrive in the endangered area. Among them are counted four recent discoveries across the Eastern Himalayas, like the blue-eyed frog, the walking snakehead fish, the snub-nosed monkey, and the lance-headed pit viper. These fascinating new species make home among many others across the tropical forests and lush grounds.
The most spectacular one among them was the vibrant blue dwarf ‘walking’ snakehead fish, with its beautiful colors and even more exceptional capabilities. Dubbed ‘Fishzilla’, this specie can breathe on land for as long as 4 days, and can actually wriggle and writhe up to a quarter of mile between different bodies of water. It was found only in West Bengal.
One amusing discovery was the snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri or ‘Snubby’), as its upturned nose causes it to sneeze each time it rains. Once precipitation starts, all you have to do is follow the sneezing throughout the forests of northern Burma.
And these are just a few of the fascinating over 200 new species found in the Himalayas.
Image source: taringa.net