Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Himalayan Hoard

It's hard to say which is the most fascinating new species among the 350-plus found in a decade of surveys in the Eastern Himalayas. It could be the world's smallest deer, a miniature muntjac standing about 2½ ft. tall. Perhaps it's the green, flying (or, more accurately, gliding) frog with red feet. Or maybe it's the first new monkey species — a kind of macaque — identified in over a century. Or the 100 million–year-old gecko, the most ancient ancestor of the Geico spokes-lizard ever found. To decide for yourself, you can read The Eastern Himalayas — Where Worlds Collide, a WWF report issued in August that chronicles a series of discoveries made in the region during the past decade. Like Madagascar, the Eastern Himalayas are rich in biodiversity, and also under assault — the latter mostly by climate change.