Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good news and bad news for frogs

Speckled with bright green spots, the Omaniundu reed frog, Hyperolius sankuruensis was last seen in 1979. Because it only emits short, infrequent calls late at night, it is extremely hard to find. It lives in the flooded forests on the banks of the Congo river.

Fairly widely reported in the press this week was this story, here from the Guardian:

A team of scientists have have discovered three species of amphibian previously thought to be extinct. Their finds include a cave-dwelling salamander last seen in 1941 – the same year that it was discovered – and two species of frog that dwell in west Africa. In total, the scientists hope to rediscover roughly 100 species of amphibian.
Conservation International, in conjunction with the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, has organised a string of international expeditions to search for "lost" amphibian species that are highly threatened by habitat loss, climate change and disease. More than one third of amphibian species are under threat of extinction.
But despite the finds of species thought to be extinct, there's no reason to rejoice yet, says Sewell. "Finding three species is brilliant, but what about the remaining 97 species that the expeditions set out to find? While we live in hope that these species will be rediscovered, most of them are probably extinct."

As is usual with conservation stories the comments provide an insight into the general public perception of conservation:

1 comment:

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.