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In Search for the Lost Frogs

September 23, 2010

Ranging from tiny poison dart frogs to the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), the diverse class of creatures known as Amphibia is the most threatened group of vertebrates on the planet. Habitat loss, disease and climate change have caused some species to vanish without a trace in a single breeding season; however, the status of many of the world’s amphibians is currently unknown due to limited and outdated research.

Over the next few months, Conservation International is supporting expeditions by amphibian experts in 18 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, through the THE SEARCH FOR LOST FROGS campaign. Led by members of IUCN’s Amphibian Specialist Group, the research teams are in search of around 40 species that haven’t been seen for over a decade. Although there is no guarantee of success, scientists are optimistic about the prospect of at least one rediscovery.

And there is good news. Returning from the first wave of expeditions, scientists announce the re-discovery of 3 amphibian species not seen for decades. The three animals that have been rediscovered so far include a Mexican salamander not seen since it was discovered in 1941, a frog from the Ivory Coast not seen since 1967 and another frog from Democratic Republic of Congo not seen since 1979. Pictures are below (from the CI website):

CAVE SPLAYFOOT SALAMANDER

OMANIUNDU REED FROG

MOUNT NIMBA REED FROG

More on the story can be found here.

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