Amazon Species Report 2010-2013
Purring monkey among 441 new species discovered in the Amazon rainforest
Discovered by a diverse number of dedicated scientists and compiled for the first time by WWF, the new species add up to at an astounding 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and 1 mammal. This doesn’t even include the countless discoveries of insects and other invertebrates.
“Compiling and updating data on new species discovered in the vast extension of the Amazon over 2010-2013 has shown us just how important the region is for humanity and how fundamentally important it is to research it, understand it and conserve it. The destruction of the ecosystems is threatening its biodiversity. We cannot allow these assets to be lost forever or fail to get to know them”, stated Claudio Maretti, WWF Living Amazon Initiative leader.
These are just six of the most remarkable species discovered:
A new species of Serrasalmidae, Tometes camunani, is described from the upper drainages of the rio Trombetas basin, Pará State, Brazil.
The Tometes genus of large-sized and strictly herbivorous serrasalmid fishes which reach approximately 500 mm length and a weight of up to 4 kg. Tometes exclusively inhabit rocky rapids associated with rupestral seedlings of Podostemaceae, their main source of food. Given their specific habitat, species of Tometes are especially vulnerable to the loss of ecosystems and are greatly threatened by the construction of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon Biome.
Unique but threatened
“The richness of the Amazon’s forests and freshwater habitats continues to amaze the world,” added Maretti. “But these same habitats are also under growing threat. The discovery of these new species reaffirms the importance of stepping-up commitments to conserve and sustainably manage the unique biodiversity and also the goods and services provided by the rainforests to the people and businesses of the region.”
Working together to help save the Amazon
This research presents a list of the new species from the Amazon Biome over the period 2010–2013. Only the new discoveries that have been described in peer-reviewed scientific journals have been included in this report. In addition to the species listed here, many other species, which may eventually turn out to be new to science, have been encountered and collected in the Amazon Biome over the past four years. Species currently awaiting official scientific recognition have not been included.
This research has tried to be comprehensive in its listing of new plants and vertebrates described from the Amazon biome in the last four years. But for the largest group of life on Earth, invertebrates, such lists do not exist – so the total number of new species presented here is without doubt an underestimate. While we have tried to compile an extensive list of the new plants and vertebrates, this list should not be treated as an exhaustive record of the new species discoveries between 2010-2013.
This research was supported by the UK’s entertainment and communications company, Sky as part of the Sky Rainforest Rescue Partnership between Sky and WWF.
Find out more at http://sky.com/rainforestrescue