October 26, 2010 by staff
Inia Boliviensis, Between 1999 and 2009, more than 1,200 new species of plants and vertebrates were discovered in the Amazon biome – or a new species every 3 days – confirming the Amazon as one of the most diverse places on Earth, according to a report WWF.
“This report clearly shows the incredible diversity of life in the Amazon,” said Francisco Ruiz, head of WWF’s Living Initiative Amazon. It also serves as a reminder of how much we still have to learn about this unique region, and you could lose if it does not change the way we think about development, and promote conservation at the regional level that provides economic, social and environmental benefits to people in the region, and long-range climatic influences of the Amazon, said Ruiz.
The new species is listed as “Amazon Vivo: A Decade of Discovery 1999-2009″ includes 637 plants, 257 fishes, amphibians, 216 reptiles, 55 birds and 16 mammals, 39.
Among some of the great findings are:
• the first new species of anaconda identified since 1936. Described in 2002 from the north-east of Bolivia in the province of Amazonas, then, are also in the plains of the province of Bolivia, Pando, the 4 meters long beniensis Eunectes initially believed that the result of hybridization between green and yellow anacondas, but later was determined to be a distinct species.
• One of the most extraordinary species, the Amazon Ranitomeya, a frog with an incredible burst of flames on his head, and in contrast with water patterned legs. Frog’s main habitat is near the area of Iquitos in the region of Loreto, Peru, and is primary forest lowland rain. The frog has been found in the Allpahuayo Mishana in Peru.
• A member of the parrot family way, the aurantiocephala Pyrilia has a unique baldhead, and shows an astonishing range of colors. Known only from a few localities in the upper and lower Madeira Rivers Tapajós, Brazil, the species has been classified as “near threatened” due to its moderately small population, which is declining due to habitat loss.
• River Dolphin Amazon River Dolphin or Pink was recorded by science in the 1830′s, and given the scientific name of Inia geoffrensis. In 2006, scientific evidence showed that there is a separate species – Inia boliviensis – dolphins in Bolivia, but some scientists consider it a subspecies of Inia geoffrensis. Unlike the Amazon River dolphins, their families in Bolivia have more teeth, smaller heads and smaller bodies but broader and round.
• A blind and small, bright red new species of catfish that lives primarily in groundwater. It is located in the state of Rondonia, Brazil; Phreatobius dracunculus fish began to appear after a well was dug in the village of Rio Pardo, by being accidentally caught in buckets to draw water. The species has been found in 12 of 20 wells in the region.
Although most of the Amazon region remains fairly quiet, the threats are increasing rapidly. During the past 50 years mankind has caused the destruction of at least 17% of the Amazon – this is an area larger than the size of Venezuela, or twice the size of Spain
One of the main causes of this transformation is the rapid regional expansion and
Global meat markets, soybeans and biofuels, increased demand for land. It is estimated that 80 percent of deforested areas in the Amazon is occupied by livestock grazing.
In addition, unsustainable patterns of development, rapid regional economic growth and growing energy demand, are also impacting on the Amazon.
The Amazon forest is not only the home of the most important diversity of life on Earth, but also store 90-140 billion tons of carbon. Releasing even a part of it through the loss of forests and further change the land use could accelerate global warming endangering life on Earth as we know it.
“An urgent and immediate action is needed if we are to avoid this frightening scenario,” said Francisco Ruiz. The fate of the Amazon – and their species whether known or undiscovered – it depends on a significant change in the current development form is accepted by all the Amazon countries, added Ruiz.
Throughout his life Amazon Initiative, WWF is working towards a comprehensive approach to working with governments, civil society and the private sector to promote the transformation process necessary to achieve an alternative scenario to better preserve the biodiversity of the Amazon.
Improved agriculture and livestock are carried out as follows: the goal is a shared vision of conservation and development that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable, natural ecosystems are valued properly provide environmental goods, possession and rights to land and resources are planned management practices and development of transport infrastructure and energy is well planned to minimize environmental impacts and the impoverishment of cultural diversity.
Part of the solution for countries of the Amazon to protect species and habitats in the Amazon is being considered by governments meeting in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity: a multi-country approach to create a Full and effective management of protected areas in the Amazon region.
Many of the discoveries of new species have been made in the network of protected areas of the Amazon, said Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF-I. This year – the Year of Biodiversity – is an excellent opportunity for the Heads of State to help further protect the diversity of the Amazon of life to ensure the survival of the species that live there and the continued provision of goods and services environment that we all benefit, he added Kakabadse
The region contains the largest rainforest and river system on Earth. It has over 600 different types of terrestrial habitats and freshwater marsh of mountain pastures and lowland forests, and hosts an incredible 10% of known species in the world, including the endemic and endangered flora species and wildlife.
The Amazon River is the largest river in the world in terms of volume of water discharging into the sea. Just two hours of his discharge could satisfy the freshwater needs of approximately 7,500,000 of New York, residents for a year.
Over 30 million people living in the Amazon rely on its resources and services – many millions more who live as far away as North America and Europe, are still within reach of the climatic influences of the Amazon
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