A 'purring' Caqueta titi monkey (Callicebus caquetensis)

Photograph: Thomas Defler

Over the course of four years —from 2010 to 2013— 441 new species were scientifically identified in the Amazon, the WWF announced.

Various scientists described the new species and WWF compiled the list of 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds, and 1 mammal.

The only mammal discovered in the 4-year-long study was a purring Caquetta titi monkey found in Colombia.

“When they feel very content they purr towards each other, and the ones we raised would purr to us,” said scientist Thomas Defler.

Damian Fleming, head of programmes for Brazil and the Amazon at WWF UK, said: “The richness of the Amazon’s forests and freshwater habitats continues to amaze the world.

“The more scientists look, the more they find.

“With an average of two new species identified every week for the past four years, it’s clear that the extraordinary Amazon remains one of the most important centres of global biodiversity.”

Concluding that, he highlighted the importance of protecting the rainforest: “The discovery of these new species reaffirms the importance of stepping-up commitments to conserve and sustainably manage the unique biodiversity and also the goods and services provided by the rainforests to the people and businesses of the region.”

According to WWF, about one-fifth of the Amazon rainforest has already been lost and deforestation is currently taking place at a rate of three football pitches of a minute.

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