Science and Technology News

Discovery of another new lizard species in limestone forests of Cao Bang Province

A new species of lizard was recently described by scientists from Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources - VAST, Hanoi Nationnal University - Vietnam and Cologne, Germany based on morphological comparisons and molecular phylogenetic analyses. The description of the new species was published in Zootaxa in November, 2013 (No. 3736). The new species, Hemiphyllodactylus zugi Nguyen, Lehmann, Le, Duong, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2013, was named after Prof. George Zug from the Smithsonian Institution, USA, in recognition of his contribution to herpetological research in Southeast Asia.

Discovery of a new reptile species from Kon Tum Plateau, Vietnam

In a recent biodiversity expedition of the Wildlife at Risk (a non-governmental organization for conservation in Ho Chi Minh City) in Ba To District, Quang Ngai Province, a small-sized skink was collected by the survey team among leaf litter in the evergreen forest at an elevation approximately 1000 m above sea level, in Kon Tum Plateau. Based on morphological comparisons of this specimen, a group of scientists from Vietnam, USA, and Germany described it as a new species. The description of the new species was published in Zootaxa in November, 2013 (No. 3734). The new species, Sphenomorphus sheai Nguyen, Nguyen, Van Devender, Bonkowski & Ziegler, 2013, was named after Dr. Glenn Shea from the University of Sydney, Australia, in recognition of his contribution towards the systematic of scincid lizards.

Additional acknowledgement on new distribution of Vietnam’s endemic ginger at Hon Ba Nature Reserve in Khanh Hoa province

Geostachys annamensis is one of Vietnam’s endemic gingers – the species was described in 1921 with specimens collected in Da Lat City by Henry Nicholas Ridley Cecil Boden Kloss (1877–1949), a British zoologist (on animals and birds) during a survey in Lang Biang Plateau, in Da Lat in 1918 and identified by Henry Nicholas Ridley (1921) from the Plant Department of the British Museum. Geostachys annamensis bush (Photo by Truong Ba Vuong) So far, only about 10 specimens have been studied, in Hanoi, British museum and Paris (including only two specimens correctly identified as G. annamensis. However, there is no representative sample for VNM specimens in ITB. All these collections are derived from Lam Dong province. The last collection was done in 1980 in the Central Highlands programme.

Delimiting spawning areas of reef fishes in Vietnam’s marine reserves

Coral reef is estimated to cover over 284,300 km2, with Southeast Asia accounting for 32.2%. Coral reefs are home for more than 4,000 tropical fishes and fishes living in coral reef with high economic values, such as groupers (Serranidae), snappers (Lutjannidae), and emperors (Lethrinidae).Increasing demand on the global fresh fish consumption market leads to the exploitation and extermination of fishes most coastal coral reefs, which are spawning areas. Hot spots for fishing exploitation are concentrated in places where large number of fish spawn. The use of destructive fishing methods such as explosives and xyanua destroys spawning areas of coral reef fishes and increases the danger of severe decline in fish larva providing resources to nearby reefs.

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