Gland, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The Eastern Himalayas, one of the richest and most bio-diverse areas of the world, is also one that is most threatened by global warming, according to a new report by The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), out 10 August.
Over the past 10 years, researchers have discovered an average of 35 new species a year in the region, which WWF says is on a par with other biological cauldrons such as Borneo. The Eastern Himalayas are home to a flying frog (Rhacophorus suffry), which uses its webbed feet to glide, and the world’s smallest species of deer. When first discovered, researchers thought the deer was the young of another species. It stands 60-80 cms tall and weighs 11 kg.
The region encompasses Nepal, Bhutan, northern Bengal and the three northeastern-most states of India, Assam, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the extreme north of Burma (Myanmar).
Pressures on the region include population growth, logging, mining activities and inappropriate infrastructure building, especially roads and dams.
Full report: “The Eastern Himalayas. Where worlds collide” (pdf)