COUNCIL CHRONICLE – News emerged earlier this week that scientists discovered almost 400 new species of fauna and flora, 381 to be precise, while studying the Amazon region over a period of two years. On average, this would mean that two new species were identified every two days.
However, the authors of this latest report that most of these newly spotted species may already be at risk of harm because of human activity.
381 new species discovered in the Amazon – New report reveals that, between 2014-2015, a new plant or animal sp… https://t.co/Kf1IM1WFf5
— WWF (@WWF) August 31, 2017
400 New Species Discovered, Many More Still Left to Find?
This new report is the result of a collaboration between the Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development in Brazil and the World Wide Fund or WWF. In 2014 and 2015, researchers from the two organizations discovered no less than 381 new species of animals, insects, and plants in an area that is still vastly unknown.
The Amazon region is considered to be one of the most biodiverse area of the world and a biodiversity hotspot. Even the fact that scientists are still spotting and finding new species is enough to tell of its great variety of both fauna and flora.
Calculating a median, this report points out that some two new species were discovered every couple of days. Of the almost 400 new species, 216 of them were previously unknown plants.
The remaining discoveries enumerate 93 new fish species, 32 amphibians, and 20 mammals. One new bird species was spotted, as well as 19 reptile ones.
These species are only increasing the count of new discoveries. According to reports, over 2,000 new species were discovered in the region in between 1999 to 2015 alone.
However, scientists are also pointing out the potentially harmful effects that human activity may already be having on these newly recorded species.
“All the species that were discovered, all 381, are in areas where humankind is destroying the Amazon. This is very important to us because it links the fact that our economic activities are causing species to go extinct before we even know about them,” states Ricardo Mello. He is the WWF Brazil Amazon program coordinator.
However, the scientific community also underlines that there is still hope for this biodiverse hotspot. Some consider that reports such as this newly released one as well as other studies might help serve as a ‘wake-up call’.
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