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163 New Species in Greater Mekong Region: Novice Level

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01/09/2017

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163 New Species in Greater Mekong Region: Novice Level

This week’s news story takes us to the Greater Mekong Region in Southeast Asia.

Do you have a favorite animal? In 2016, 163 new species, or types, of animals and plants were discovered in the Greater Mekong Region. The Greater Mekong Region is in Southeast Asia and covers parts of the countries of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The Mekong River runs through the middle of the Greater Mekong Region and gives life to millions of plants and animals. In total, the river, rainforests, and mountains in this region are home to 2,500 different species. Scientists believe there are also hundreds more species that haven’t been discovered yet.

The new animal species discovered last year include a rainbow snake, an orange-eyed frog, a wooly-headed bat, a cave gecko with pale blue skin, a horned lizard, and a Klingon newt, named after the Klingon tribe in the popular TV series Star Trek. Scientists also discovered a rare new species of banana and many other plants.

Identifying these new species helps scientists track them and protect them. Why else do you think it’s important to search for new species of animals and plants?

Lesson Plan: Novice Level

Lesson Plan: Novice Level

Alternative text - include a link to the PDF!

Task Sheet: Novice Level

Lesson Plan: Novice Level

Alternative text - include a link to the PDF!

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1

The Mekong river, rainforests, and mountains are

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2

The new animal species discovered include

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3

Identifying new species can help scientists protect them.

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