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A decade of discovery:1,200 new species found in Amazon rainforest

In Pictures: An amazing array of new species that have been uncovered in the Amazon rainforest.

An inhabitant of the remote lowland Amazon rainforest.
An inhabitant of the remote lowland Amazon rainforest.

NEW SPECIES ARE being uncovered in the Amazon rainforest at a rate of one every three days, according to a report by a leading environmental group.

The report from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature outlines how between 1999 and 2009 more than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates were discovered in the rainforest.

The report has been released as the United Nations holds a summit in Japan, which is aimed at devising a plan to save the world’s diminishing biodiversity.

Read the WWF’s Amazon Alive! report

Francisco Ruiz, head of WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative, told reporters at the launch of the report:

This report clearly shows the incredible, amazing diversity of life in the Amazon. (But) this incredible region is under pressure because of the human presence. The landscape is being very quickly transformed.

According to the WWF, logging and clearing for agriculture that has taken place in the Amazon over the past 50 years has destroyed 17 per cent of the rainforest.

The species discovered include a a four-metre-long anaconda in the flood plains of Bolivia’s Pando province in 2002 – the first new anaconda species identified since 1936.

A total of 55 reptile species discovered, 257 types of fish, 500 spiders – including one that is completely brown apart from two florescent-blue fangs. A further 39 new mammals were also found.

The new mammals uncovered include seven types of monkeys, a pink river dolphin and two porcupines.

No less than 637 new plant species were discovered, including new types of sunflowers, ivy, lilies, pineapple and a custard apple.

The WWF described the scale of diversity in some areas as “mind boggling”.

A decade of discovery:1,200 new species found in Amazon rainforest
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  • Ranitomeya Benedicta

    Source: WWF
  • Pyrilia urantiocephala

  • Nymphargus Wileyi

  • Galea Monasteriensis

  • Mico Acariensis

  • Inia Bolivienses

  • Ephebopus Cyanognathus

  • Drosera Amazonica

  • Apistogramma Baenschi

  • Anolis Cuscoensis

  • Martialis Heureka

  • Anaconda Boliviana Eunectis Beniensis

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