15 new gecko species discovered in Myanmar

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Geckos come in many different shapes and sizes. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 FaisalZuhri

The new species were all found in east-central and southern Myanmar within the space of just two weeks.

The discoveries, which were made thanks to the support of Fauna and Flora International (FFI), include twelve species of bent-toed gecko and three species of dwarf gecko.

What makes these reptiles particularly interesting is that they all appear to live exclusively within isolated limestone habitats and cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

“Although we already knew that some less mobile cave species such as snails and fish were restricted to just one cave or limestone hill, we now know that the same applies to some geckos,” said FFI Senior Adviser Dr Tony Whitten.

Myanmar itself has long remained a notoriously difficult place to access due to ongoing civil conflict and this has made assessing the conservation status of these new species very challenging.

“In an age of biodiversity crisis, managing and conserving these karst ecosystems throughout Southeast Asia should be given greater priority,” said study lead author Dr L. Lee Grismer.

“Hundreds of new species could face extinction without proper management.”

Source: Phys.org 

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