‘Dementor’ wasp among 139 new species identified in Mekong region

RTE News
27 May 2015

From a soul-sucking ‘dementor’ wasp named after a creature from the Harry Potter books to a half-metre-long stick insect, scientists identified 139 new species in the Greater Mekong Region in 2014, according to a new report.

Many of the newly-described species are already under threat from new roads and dams and the region’s demand for wildlife meat and luxury timber, the World Wildlife Fund said in its report.

Southeast Asia has a “treasure trove” of biodiversity with an average of three new species a week being discovered in the area between 1997 and 2014, the report said.

“We’ve only skimmed the surface of new discoveries in the Greater Mekong,” said WWF expert Thomas Gray.

But unsustainable development and the illicit trade in wildlife is taking a terrible toll and it is possible that “many species have disappeared before they were even discovered,” he said.

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