Walking fish and a sneezing monkey

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has compiled a survey of wildlife discovered by scientists across Bhutan, north-east India, Nepal, north Myanmar and southern Tibet that includes a monkey that sneezes when it rains and a “walking” fish that can breath air.

They are among 211 species discovered in recent years, conservation group told news agency AFP.  They include 133 plants including orchids, 26 kinds of fish, 10 amphibians, 39 invertebrates, one reptile, one bird and a mammal.

But no sooner found, the animals and plants could be lost due to threats facing the ecologically sensitive region, the WWF says. They include population growth, deforestation, overgrazing, poaching, mining and hydropower development.

Just 25% of the region’s original habitats remained intact, and hundreds of species had been considered to be globally threatened, WWF says.

“The challenge is to preserve our threatened ecosystems before these species, and others yet unknown, are lost,” said Sami Tornikoski, who heads the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative.

Sneezing monkey
Scientists only learned in 2010 of the Rhinopithecus strykeri, a black and white monkey with an upturned nose that caused it to sneeze when it rains. On rainy days they often sat with their heads tucked between their knees to avoid getting water in their snub noses.
Credit: Fauna and Flora International

Please login to favourite this article.