New species found, but Southeast Asia in grip of biodiversity crisis

Rich in wildlife, Southeast Asia includes at least six of the world’s 25 “biodiversity hotspots” – the areas of the world that contain an exceptional concentration of species, and are exceptionally endangered. The region contains 20% of the planet’s vertebrate and plant species and the world’s third-largest tropical forest.

Deforestation threatens Vietnam’s rare monkey

After trekking the leech-ridden jungle from dawn to dusk for days on end, exhaustion was starting to show on the conservation team’s sweaty faces and damp gear.

Midway into a 10-day field assignment in Vietnam, the team had no more than two good photographs of the critically endangered grey-shanked douc to show on their long-range cameras. They needed a lot more.

Such is the elusiveness of the rare monkey – even the experts have a hard time trailing it.

The grey-shanked douc can only be found in the remote forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Until the recent discovery of a new population of 500 doucs by a survey team from Fauna & Flora International, the species was believed to have as few as 800 remaining in the wild.

Visible snare lines and the absence of gibbons and larger mammals in the jungle point to heavy hunting in the past, said Mr Jonathan Eames, who leading a photography and book project on the primate.

Mekong Dolphin Extinction, Hydropower and Climate Change

Scientists for the Mekong offer this article to inform the public, the delegates at COP21, and decision-makers worldwide about the impacts of hydropower development on the Lower Mekong River, and the serious repercussions for 60 million people in SE Asia. This article provides an overview of the many significant environmental and social impacts of hydropower dams on the Mekong River basin.

Report: Myanmar’s Protected Areas Are Facing Critical Funding Shortages

Myanmar’s protected areas are facing critical funding shortages, with several unable to cover the costs of essential equipment, maintenance, and operational activities, in addition to needing more dedicated staff with increased technical capacities. A new report offers an assessment of the financial status, constraints, and opportunities for financing of these areas.

The report, Sustainable Financing of Protected Areas in Myanmar (http://goo.gl/cGip0X), was published by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) under a research project funded by the European Union.