Myanmar: Researchers discover new catfish species

A total of 157 new species discovered on the Mekong

In the Mekong region, a total of 157 new species were discovered within one year. This is shown by the new WWF report "New Species on the Block", which has compiled the results and results of hundreds of scientists from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia

In total, three different mammals, 23 fish, 14 amphibians, 26 reptiles and 91 plants were described last year. Between 1997 and 2017, 2,681 new species were discovered in this region.

Among the discovered fish is also the (plate) pancake catfish (Oreoglanis hponkanensis). The habitat of the catfish is located on a mountain in a very remote location in the Hakakabo Razi sanctuary in Myanmar. He is threatened by climate change because he spends his life in cold fast flowing rivers. Little is known about the way of life of the newly discovered fish.

"In the Mekong region, there are probably countless species that science does not know, it's a race against time, and when we lose it, animals and plants disappear whose existence humanity did not even know," Dr. Stefan Ziegler, speaker for the region "Greater Mekong" at WWF Germany. "Our goal must be to protect the biologically valuable areas on the Mekong river across borders and permanently, as well as to use the natural resources sustainably, healthy and intact ecosystems also as benefit for the local population." For example, many of the planned river power plants in the Mekong River would not only threaten aquatic biodiversity, but also endanger food security in Laos and Cambodia.

Overview of the new species discovered at the Mekong.