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381 new species have been discovered in the Amazon. One every two days

Delfini, uccelli, mammiferi: sono 381 le nuove specie animali e vegetali scoperte in Amazzonia tra 2014 e 2015. La gallery

From the pink river dolphin to the fire-tailed titi monkey. 381 new species have been discovered in the delicate ecosystem of the Amazon forest between 2014 and 2015, one every two day, according a new report titled New species of vertebrates and plants in the Amazon 2014-2015 conducted by WWF and the Institute for Sustainable Development.

new species amazon
Chico’s tyrannulet is a bird named after environmentalist Chico Mendes

The study was presented in Sao Paolo and it came right after the news that the Temer decree was suspended. The decree would have threatened the Reserva Nacional de Cobre e Associadas (RENCA), opening it to mining explorations.

The discoveries of new species are on the rise. Between 1999 and 2009 “only” 111 species have been discovered every year (one every 3 days), and between 2010 and 2013 441 new species were found out (one every 3.3 days). The increase registered between 2014 and 2015 not only confirms the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon forest, it shows our little knowledge of it.


Among the newly discovered species are:

Inia araguaiaensis

The Araguaian river dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin, has an estimated population of 1,000 individuals and is threatened by the construction of hydroelectric dams.

Plecturocebus miltoni

The Milton’s titi monkey is also known as the fire-tailed titi monkey, named after its orange tail. It is threatened by deforestation.

Zimmerius chicomendesi

Chico’s tyrannulet is a bird named after environmentalist Chico Mendes, who played a crucial role in denouncing abuse and destruction in the Amazon.

Nystalus obamai

This bird is named after United States former president Barack Obama

The importance of the report

According to WWF the report should help to put pressure on decision makers and companies as it particularly focuses on the effects that the construction of new roads, dams and mines could have on the area. The study also identifies the main biodiversity hotspots.

Ricardo Mello, coordinator of WWF-Brazil Amazon Programme, reminded that “This biodiversity needs to be known and protected. Studies indicate that the greatest economic potential of a region such as the Amazon is the inclusion of biodiversity in the technological solutions of a new development model”.

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