Saturday, October 13, 2012

I Once Was Lost But Now Am Found: Return of the Bururi long-fingered frog

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Over 60 years ago, a Belgian biologist discovered the Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila) in the African country of Burundi.  This beautiful amphibian is about 1.3 inches in length and has a black and bluish grey color pattern. The Bururi long-fingered frog had not been spotted since its discovery, leading some to believe the species had gone extinct.

Fortunately, this little guy was rediscovered during an expedition in the Burundi Forest Reserve last December.  Researchers David Blackburn and Eli Greenbaum were able to locate this rare species by listening for their frog calls, which they presumed to sound similar to its closest relative frog species from Cameroon.  While it is unknown how many of these little frogs actually exist, the researchers claim several dozen males were in the vicinity based on the number of frog calls heard.  Hopefully this species is back for good, but threats to their habitat are increasing due to “a growing human population […] moving into the Burundi mountains.” Their survival, along with many other rare species, will depend on the conservation efforts and public knowledge in the local communities.

I can’t help but wonder how many other species are not extinct, but rather just ‘lost’ in the world.  Do you think it’s possible that many claimed ‘extinct’ species are simply hiding out in areas that humans haven’t ventured to yet? My opinion - probably not, but I can’t help but hope.

For the full story, check out this National Geographic article.
Further information also found from the Huffington Post Internet Newspaper.

1 comment:

Jeffery Carter said...

This reminds me of the Thylacine, an extinct species of marsupial from Australia and Tasmania. The last known specimen is known to have died in captivity in 1936, however there have since been thousands of unconfirmed sightings of the creature in the wild. This ventures into the non-science zone of cryptozoology, but one has to wonder if some of the sightings have actually been real. But with this number of sightings, there is obviously some influence of people just seeking fame or wanting to believe that the animal still exists.