New gecko species discovered in Cambodia

Mar 24, 2010
This undated handout picture released by the conservationist group Fauna and Flora International (FFI) shows a new species of gecko named Cnemaspis neangthyi. The gecko was discovered in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia's southwest.

A new species of gecko has been discovered in the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia's southwest, scientists announced Wednesday.

The new gecko, named Cnemaspis neangthyi, is olive coloured with light blotches containing a central black dot, conservationist group Fauna and Flora International (FFI) said in a statement.

Geckoes are a type of lizard found in warm regions, and are known for their distinctive chirping noises.

FFI said the Cardamom Mountains, where the forests are well preserved and largely unexplored, are home to many found nowhere else in the world.

"There are likely many more species to be discovered in the Cardamom Mountains," said FFI researcher Neang Thy, after whom the gecko has been named.

The greater Cardamoms cover over two million hectares of and shelter at least 62 threatened animal species, many of which are found only in Cambodia, the group said.

It warned that the Cardamom forests, a key area for biodiversity conservation in Asia, are increasingly under pressure from development.

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