Species of the Greater Annamites Ecoregion
Remarkably rich and unique diversity
Indeed, one of the greatest concentrations of endemic species in a continental setting are found here, including the beautiful and threatened douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus).
Recent discovery of a number of large mammals
In recognition of the above, WWF listed the Greater Annamites as a Global 200 Ecoregion. Specifically, the main catalyst for recognition has been the discovery of a number of large mammals over the past 15 years.
Five new species discovered in last decade
An astonishing 5 species, previously undiscovered by science, have been unveiled in the last decade, including: the charismatic saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis).
However, the ecoregion is not critically important to global conservation solely because of its unique species – it also houses several other highly threatened taxa such as:
- Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
- Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris)
- Javan (Lesser One-horned) rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Extraordinary plant diversity
The variety of rare habitats and animals is coupled with extraordinary plant diversity. In Pu Mat Nature Reserve in Vietnam, there are 1,144 species of vascular plants. This is just one pocket of the Greater Annamites system. Another - Cuc Phuong National Park - has 1,799 such species thriving in a limestone karst landscape.
The number of endemic plants is also very high. The rarity of one plant in particular, the Vietnamese ginseng (Panax vietnamensis), is reflected in its economic value. Ornamental plants, such as orchids and medicinal plants, command high prices in domestic and international markets.