Newly Discovered Amphibians: Frogs
by Tanya Lewis
With all the depressing news about the global amphibian die-offs, a bit of good news: Scientists are discovering lots of new species, bringing the total to more than 7,000.
In the past 20 years, frogs and other amphibians have been dying in alarming numbers. More than 40 percent of amphibian species are threatened with extinction, according to the most recent IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The main causes are habitat destruction, climate change, and a sinister new fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. But despite this, or perhaps because of it, there’s been a surge in discoveries of new species in recent years.
“Once it became apparent that amphibians were declining, there was a great interest in amphibians,” said biologist David Wake of the University of California, Berkeley, who founded Amphibiaweb, a database to catalog new amphibian species. ”When we started it in 2000, we thought that the age of amphibian discovery was pretty well done,” said Wake. But now, about 2.5 new species are added every week…
TL - Sabin’s Glassfrog (Centrolene sabini), Kosnipata valley, Peru (photo: Alessandro Catenazzi, San Francisco St. Univ.)
TM - Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, Ecuador. (photo: Luis Coloma, Otonga Foundation)
TR - Yellow Dyer Rainfrog (Diasporus citrinobapheus), Cordillera Central, western Panama (photo: Andreas Hertz, Senckenberg Research Institute and Nature Museum, Germany)
BL - Wide-headed Night Frog (Astylosternus laticephalus) Ivory Coast and Ghana (photo: Daniel Portik)
BM - Jackie’s Reed Frog (Hyperolius jackie), Nyungwe National Park, southern Rwanda (photo: Maximilian Dehling, Univ. of Koblenz-Landau, Germany)
BR - Rhinella inopina, central Brazil (photo: Danusy Lopes Santos, Central Univ. of Goiás – Uni-Anhanguera, Brazil)
(read more: Wired Science)