Chinese researchers have discovered five new animal species in southwest China's Yunnan Province, according to a report by the Science and Technology Daily.
The five species of the genus Leptobrachella, like little brown frogs, were found by the researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in the city of Wenshan and Dehong Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan.
Based on morphological and molecular data analyses, researchers found four species of Leptobrachella in Xiaoqiaogou Nature Reserve, among which two species are distinct and previously unknown lineages and another two are China's new recorded species. Researchers also found a new species that is found at the highest known elevation for Leptobrachella in China.
Identification of amphibians has always been difficult, of which the genus Leptobrachella is a typical representative, said Chen Jinmin, an assistant researcher from the institute.
Yunnan borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, and the biodiversity in the border area has been underestimated for a long time. The complex terrain, inconvenient transportation and cross-border distribution of species add difficulties to the research, he added.
The habitat of the species is facing great challenges. The research team suggests that experts should carry out a multi-country cooperative investigation to understand the current situation of border biological resources and carry out assessment and protection. (Xinhua)
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