<p><em><strong>This gallery is part of a special <a id="ma2l" title="National Geographic News series" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/clean_water_crisis.html"></a></strong></em><strong><a id="ma2l" title="National Geographic News series" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/clean_water_crisis.html">National Geographic News<em> series</em></a><em> on global river and water conservation issues.</em></strong><em></em></p><p>This split-nostril bat <em>(Murina eleryi)</em>, spotted in a forest in northern Vietnam, was one of 145 new species of discovered in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region in 2009 and recently highlighted in a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).</p><p>The Greater Mekong includes the portions of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China through which the Mekong, one of the world's great rivers, flows.</p><p>The new species reaffirm the region as one of Earth's major biological hot spots, scientists say.</p><p>“This rate of discovery is simply staggering in modern times,” said Stuart Chapman, Conservation Director of WWF Greater Mekong, in a statement.</p><p>“Each year, the new species count keeps going up, and with it, so too does the responsibility to ensure this region’s unique biodiversity is conserved."</p><p>(See more new Mekong species found in <a id="v41h" title="2009" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/09/090928-thailand-wildlife-video-ap.html">2009</a> and <a id="a0tz" title="2008" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/12/photogalleries/greater-mekong-new-species-photos/">2008</a>.)</p><p><em> --Ker Than</em></p>

Mekong Bat

This gallery is part of a special National Geographic News series on global river and water conservation issues.

This split-nostril bat (Murina eleryi), spotted in a forest in northern Vietnam, was one of 145 new species of discovered in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region in 2009 and recently highlighted in a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Greater Mekong includes the portions of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China through which the Mekong, one of the world's great rivers, flows.

The new species reaffirm the region as one of Earth's major biological hot spots, scientists say.

“This rate of discovery is simply staggering in modern times,” said Stuart Chapman, Conservation Director of WWF Greater Mekong, in a statement.

“Each year, the new species count keeps going up, and with it, so too does the responsibility to ensure this region’s unique biodiversity is conserved."

(See more new Mekong species found in 2009 and 2008.)

--Ker Than

Photograph courtesy Neil Furey via WWF

New Mekong Species Photos: Fangless Snake, Bald Bird

Scientists working in Asia's Mekong River Basin are finding new species of bats, birds, snakes, and more at a "staggering" rate.

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