September 26, 2007—
This white-lipped keelback snake is one of 11 new species recently discovered in central Vietnam
, the conservation nonprofit WWF announced today.
The snake, which can reach 31 inches (78 centimeters) in length, lives near streams where it can easily catch frogs. The reptile sports a white stripe resembling a mustache across its upper lip.
Scientists found the new species during WWF studies in 2005 and 2006 in a tropical region dubbed the Green Corridor in the Annamites mountain range of Thua Thien Hue Province. (See a map of the region
In addition to the snake, WWF found five new types of orchid, two types of butterfly, and three types of plant.
Local authorities are committed to protecting the newfound flora and fauna from illegal hunting, logging, and development, WWF said.
"The area is extremely important for conservation," Hoang Ngoc Khanh, director of Thua Thien Hue Provincial Forest Protection Development, said in a statement.
"The province wants to protect the forests and their environmental services."
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Photograph courtesy ) Raoul Bain/WWF Greater Mekong