Researchers announced Monday the discovery of over 200 new species, including an Elvis-styled monkey plus a psychedelically-colored gecko of orange, purple and yellow, in the Greater Mekong region in Asia.
The World Wildlife Fund discovered the 208 new species back in 2010. Beyond the kool-kat pompadour monkey and "wildly-coloured" gecko, the discovery found a gherkin-shaped fish and a carnivorous pitcher plant capable of catching and eating entire birds and mice.
WWF's mission to identify the new species began in early 2010 after news that Vietnam's Javan rhinos had been poached to the brink of extinction. Following the news, the WWF began working to preserve the Greater Mekong region's wildlife. The region itself covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan.
WWF officials were quick to note that many of the new species were under threat, with each of the regions ruling governments failing to invest in wildlife preservation programmes.
"While the 2010 discoveries are new to science, many are already destined for the dinner table, struggling to survive in shrinking habitats and at risk of extinction," Stuart Chapman, conservation director of WWF Greater Mekong, said in a statement.
Chapman continued: "Mekong governments have to stop thinking about biodiversity protection as a cost and recognise it as an investment to ensure long-term stability.
"The region's treasure trove of biodiversity will be lost if governments fail to invest in the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, which is so fundamental to ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change."