This stylish, leopard-patterned gecko--discovered in 2008--is found only on northern Vietnam's Cat Ba Island National Park. The creature is one of more than 160 new species found in 2008 in the Greater Mekong region, according to a September 2009 WWF report.
The Cat Ba leopard gecko is among many species in the park's moist tropical forests that are found nowhere else on Earth. These animals likely evolved over the 7,000 to 8,000 years since melting glacial ice raised area water levels and isolated the island.
The lizard's large, catlike eyes gaze on an uncertain future: The gecko's relatives are highly sought after in the pet-collection trade. Scientists hope to protect the new species by immediately classifying it as rare and endangered.