October 9, 2015
According to the latest report released by WWF Living Himalayas Initiative – “Hidden Himalayas: Asia’s Wonderland” – two hundred and eleven new species have been discovered in the eastern arm of the Great Himalayas. Known for its biodiversity, Himalayas is home to world’s most fascinating creatures. Over the last six years, a total of 133 plants, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, 1 reptile, 1 bird, and 1 mammal have been discovered. While 15 of these dwell in Bhutan, the other 60 have Nepal as their humble abode.
The report, that was released on World Habitat Day on 5th October, names some really intriguing species ever discovered. For starters, scientists located a snub-nosed monkey in Myanmar – affectionately called ‘Snubby’ – who sneezes every time it rains, for rainwater gets inside their upturned noses.
Next comes the walking snakehead fish. It is named so because it can survive on land for four days, swimming up to a quarter of a mile (400 metres) on wet ground.
According to the report, “Because of its aggressive traits, National Geographic has dubbed the snakehead fish as “Fishzilla” The exploration of more remote areas of the Indian, Nepalese, and Myanmar mountain ranges will undoubtedly yield additional new snakehead species in the future according to scientists.”
There’s more. The report also mentions a Bompu Litter Frog which has a bright blue eye. The frog is found in Arunachal Pradesh.
WWF has, over a period of 15 years, found 550 species in the region that spans across Nepal, Bhutan, North Myanmar, Southern Tibet, and North-East India (Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and North Bengal).