A new species of lizard called acanthosaura phuketensis in Phuket.
Montri Sumontha—AFP/Getty Images
By Mahita Gajanan and Tyler Essary
December 19, 2016

Researchers confirmed the discovery of 163 new species in the Greater Mekong region, according to a report from the World Wildlife Fund.

Among the new species were a rainbow-headed snake, a three-centimeter long frog and a newt covered in red and black markings, evoking Star Trek‘s Klingons, the report said. Scientists also discovered a rare banana species from Thailand.

The Greater Mekong, which spans Southeast Asia, is under intense pressure as developments of mines, roads and dams threaten the environment. Poaching of bush meat and the illegal wildlife trade also threaten the species—often before they are even discovered.

“The Greater Mekong region is a magnet for the world’s conservation scientists because of the incredible diversity of species that continue to be discovered here,” Jimmy Borah, wildlife program manager for WWF-Greater Mekong, said. “These scientists, the unsung heroes of conservation, know they are racing against time to ensure that these newly discovered species are protected.”

Check out some of the discoveries below.

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