Finally, Some Good Environmental News: The WWF Has Discovered 211 New Creatures and Plants

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A snakehead fish, a new “walking” variety of which was discovered by the WWF. Photo via Wikipedia

READ: The Ecotourism Industry Is Saving Tanzania’s Animals and Threatening Its Indigenous People

With the number of extinct lifeforms rising by the minute, it’s something of a relief when we discover species that we haven’t managed to completely wipe out yet.

Yesterday, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced they had stumbled upon 211 new creatures and plants in the Eastern Himalayan region of Bhutan. The list of fauna and flora, collated in a report detailing five years of research by the WWF team, includes 133 new types of plant, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, ten amphibians, one reptile, one bird, and one mammal.

Notably, they discovered a fish that can (sort of) walk on (humid) land and survive for up to four days outside of the water, and a monkey whose nose is turned up to an angle that catches rainfall, and who, on a wet day, is often found with its head between its legs so as to save itself from the trauma of going into constant sneezing fits.

This report provides us with hope, but also a warning: The region of Bhutan—which roughly covers the northeast of India, Nepal, the north of Burma, and Southern Tibet—is home to incredible biodiversity, but its species are all at major risk of extinction due to deforestation, pollution, poaching, and urbanization.

Update 10/6: An earlier version of this article used an image of an amphibian and referred to it as a “fish with legs.”

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