Scientists have rediscovered after 55 years a cave squeaker amphibian, a rare species of frog. The dark-red frog was spotted in December 2016 in the Chimanimani Mountains, Zimbabwe. The species had disappeared for a few years, and researchers believed that it got extinct. The “Arthroleptis troglodytes” is a small frog which can sit on two human fingers.
- Scientists have rediscovered a cave squeaker amphibian which was lost for 55 years.
- Six years ago, researchers initiated a program to unveil all the amphibian species which were lost for more than a decade.
- Based on some statistics, 32% of all amphibians are threatened by extinction.
Last time scientists saw this species was back in 1962, in the same location where they rediscovered it in 2016. In December 2016, Robert Hopkins, a research associate at the Natural History Museum in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe was the one who led the team which rediscovered the lost species. Joe Mendelson, the director of research at Zoo Atlanta, stated that the rediscovery was fantastic news considering the fact that they always confront with news about extinction.
The amphibian world is currently threatened by extinction. Thus, the cave squeaker amphibian could only be great news, especially since it happens very rarely for them to find a new species. Approximately six years ago, researchers worldwide decided to team up and start a search for salamanders and frogs, being concerned for their future. They began looking for those species which were not spotted for more than ten years.
The dark-red frog known as Arthroleptis troglodytes was one of the species which they were searching for. Back in 2010, the Conservation International and the IUCN initiated a program called the “Search for Lost Frogs.” The program developed in 19 countries for six months, being bound to unveil the amphibian species threatened with extinction which was not spotted for at least ten years.
At the beginning of this process, the results were not encouraging. Based on the data provided by the Conservation International, back in 2011, only four species out of a hundred mission ones were found. Based on the information revealed by the 2004 Global Amphibian, approximately 1,856 species are thought to be threatened by extinction.
This number indicates about 32% of the total number of amphibians. Currently, 12% of all species of birds and 23% of mammals are in danger, being on the verge of extinction. Nevertheless, these numbers might have changed since 2004. Based on the information presented by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the assessment from 2004 still stands.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia