Wildlife in the Mekong Basin

According to WWF the Mekong Basin lies largely undiscovered and the endemic species diversity begs scientific documentation. "Since 1997, more than 2,216 new species were discovered in the Greater Mekong subregion, with 139 new species identified in 2014 alone, including a color-changing frog, a zombie-making "dementor" wasp, and the second-longest insect in the world" according to the WWF website http://greatermekong.panda.org/discovering_the_greater_mekong/species/.The region is home to numerous endangered species, including the Indochinese tiger, the Asian elephant, the Irrawaddy dolphin, and the Mekong giant catfish. In particular, the Greater Mekong region is rich in endemic species, including the saola, one of the world’s rarest mammals.In the Greater Mekong region, only 350 Indochinese tigers remain, down from 1200 in 1998, and many remnant populations are small and isolated. http://greatermekong.panda.org/our_solutions/species/tigers_in_the_greater_mekong_region/

The proposed dams will severely impact unique and endemic aquatic fauna like the Mekong Cat Fish and Irrawaddy Dolphins. Poaching, war, drug menace had taken a severe toll on the safety of big cats like tigers, and Clouded leopard in Laos and Cambodia. Only after these two countries were listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites did conditions start improving. Today Laos  has around 30 Protected Areas including National Parks and Conservation Areas which draw big tourist numbers. Bordering on the geological micro plate of Wallacea Laos too hosts many an endangered species including Saola or Mondulkiri - an oryx like mammal of the micro plate, found in Northern Laos and Central Vietnam. 

Butterflies, bees, wasps, skinks, geckos, pythons, Reticulated Pythons, pit vipers, occur in manifold diversity in Laos although very few crocodiles are left in Laos.  


Red Panda
Red Panda
Wasp
Wasp
Clouded Leopard
Fresh water crocodile
Reticulated Python One horned rhino
Red Panda
Dolphins
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Asian Elephant
Flying Fox
Bat
Bengal Tiger
Grey hornbill
Hornbill
Cassowari is found in Phou Khao Khouay National Park in Laos's Northeast.
A lizzard climbs up on the face  of a Buddha statue in Laos
Cassowary the largest land bird  found in Wallacea
Cat Fish
Civet Cat
Gecko
Dolphin
Bottle nosed dolphin
Fresh water crocodile
Flamingoes
Bat
Giant Panda
One horned rhino
Hornbill
Leaf nosed bat
Irrawaddy Dolphin
Brown bear
Asian Black Bear

Butterfly
Butterfly
An injured Blue tiger striped butterfly, although common reveals its injured wing. Butterflies are extremely vulnerable to Climate Change. Extremre weather events alter their migration patterns and breeding cycles.
Butterflies are completely dependent on habitat for their survival. South East Asia's diverse micro climate helps butterfly diversity thrive, but loss of habitat will decimate their numbers.
Lynx Cat.
A large ground nesting bird in Laos.
Mondulkiri or Saola is a bovine mammal in tropical Laos.
The monitor Lizzard is a comonly found reptile all over South, and Southeast Asia.
The Monitor Lizard is a smaller carnivore, common in large parts of South, Southeast Asia.
Laos has a variety of gibbons ... among them mention maybe made of the Hatinh langur, silvery lutung, red shanked duoc, lar gibbon, pileated gibbon, northern buffed cheeked gibbon, black crested gibbon, yellow cheeked gibbon, northern white cheeked gibbon. For more information on wildlife in Laos check out  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_of_Laos
The Asian Elephant with is baby.
Orangutan another native species of Wallacea
The Giant Panda is another species that is wholly dependent on its habitat for its survival.
Pandas are ideally suited for green bamboo forests of South and Southeast Asia.
The fish diversity of the Mekong River is legion.
A Mother rhino protects her calf.
This rhino has been shorn of its horn to protect it from poachers. Such are the blighting realities of modern day conservation.

One variety of skink found in the Greater Mekong Basin in Laos.
The Burmese Python a very large specimen of Boa Constrictor is often confused for the Reticulated python. However both are fierce aggressive man eaters and opportunistic hunters.
The Green Tree Python.
Reticulated python.
King Cobra
Snow Leopard is not yet officially documented bu believed to roam in the extreme northern part of Laos where it snows in winters. But they are known to be resident in the mountainous regions of yunan in China north of Laos.
Very rare to find / spot even rarer to photograph

The Sumtran / Indo Chinese tiger is a rarity in South East Asia today 1/3 of their numbers eradicated from their native range.
Grey hornbill.
Rhinoceros Hornbill.
Amphibious herpetofauna like this frog are very vulnerable to Climate Change in sensitive ecosystems like the Mekong Basin.

Fresh water terrapins thrive in the Mekong Basin 
Gecko

Just one of the venomous snakes in Laos
An Indo Chinese Tiger
The Asian Pygmy Elephant 
Lar Gibbon
Indo Chinese Tiger
Leopard Cat.
Links:
Wildlife of Greater Mekong - Panda.org

WWF species

Threat to Tigers in the Mekong Basin

Wildlife in Laos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife_of_Laos

Photo credits: Pixabay, WWF, Panda.org, Malini Shankar, IUCN. JJ Harrison (CCSA 3.0) Shan 2797 (CCSA 4.0)

Text, Malini Shankar, Digital Discourse Foundation  

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