tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/amphibians1 amphibians news from mongabay.com 2015-05-14T18:05:59Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14787 2015-05-12T14:38:00Z 2015-05-14T18:05:59Z New study finds the brilliant-thighed poison frog can learn its way home <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0511-mowbray-poisonfrog-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Poison dart frogs (Dendropatidae), named for their poisonous secretions used by indigenous tribes to coat blow gun darts, may possess another less deadly talent. According to a recent study, published in the journal Biology Letters, the curiously named brilliant-thighed poison frog (Allobatis femoralis) can use its memory to find its way home through the rainforest. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14744 2015-05-05T16:55:00Z 2015-05-06T14:58:36Z Scientists identify frog through DNA without leaving forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505.sequencing.genes.unnamed.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, a team of Italian scientists caught a frog in a montane forest in Tanzania. And then they made history: using a small blood sample the team were able to extract, purify, and amplify the amphibian's DNA&#8212;all in the forest&#8212;through a new, battery-powered device called the Expedition Genomics Lab. Jeremy Hance -9.121768 33.633140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14652 2015-04-17T17:57:00Z 2015-06-16T21:52:39Z Recently discovered 'punkrocker' frog changes skin texture in minutes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-thumb-Skin%20texture%20variation%20in%20mutable%20rainfrog.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, two scientists discovered a tiny new frog species in the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve in north-central Ecuador. They took its photograph and nicknamed it the "punkrocker" frog because of spine-like projections coming out of its skin. For the next three years, they did not find the punkrocker again. But when they did re-discover it in 2009, the team found that the punkrocker had more tricks up its sleeve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.107630 -78.806133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14491 2015-03-13T16:38:00Z 2015-03-13T16:47:39Z New wormy amphibians discovered in Southeast Asia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0313_cec_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Worms come in all different sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and flavors. Some attack human digestive systems, some surface after a rainstorm, and some come in plastic wrappers, covered in sour sugar, at the local grocery store. Despite their similar features and anatomies, many of the real worms (not the sugar kind) demonstrate convergent evolution, meaning they are not related but have independently evolved similar features. Tiffany Roufs 11.419119 107.426307 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14452 2015-03-04T17:11:00Z 2015-03-06T13:58:49Z Madagascar’s frog haven: rich, underexplored, threatened <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-1-thumb-Rhombophryne_matavy_FdAmbre_2008_IMG_0348_photo_F_Glaw.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is a treasure trove of frogs. Located off the east coast of Africa, this large island nation has more than 500 species of frogs, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Much of Madagascar’s rich biodiversity remains understudied. As researchers comb through the country’s forests, they continue to discover previously undescribed species of frogs, adding to Madagascar’s amphibian diversity. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.441990 49.739407 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14398 2015-02-19T15:52:00Z 2015-02-19T16:01:32Z Biodiversity may reduce the threat of disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0204_victor_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the <i>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</i>, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14325 2015-01-30T15:17:00Z 2015-01-30T15:30:48Z Scientists rediscover endangered Andean toad in Ecuador <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0129-photo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1970 researchers uncovered the Tandayapa Andean toad, previously unknown to science, in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador. Given that only a single individual was discovered, even after further exploration in the following years, the toad was soon presumed to be extinct. Forty-two years later, however, a research team rediscovered the species in Manduriacu, Ecuador. Tiffany Roufs 0.552368 -78.611457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14197 2014-12-26T14:00:00Z 2014-12-26T14:10:39Z Scientists rediscover Critically Endangered streamside frog in Costa Rica <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1224-montoro-rediscovered-frog-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the past 20 years, amphibian species around the world have experienced rapid decline due to climate change, disease, invasive species, habitat loss and degradation. Populations have decreased by approximately 40 percent with nearly 200 species thought to have gone extinct since 1980. However, despite these discouraging statistics, new research efforts are turning up lost populations of some vanished frogs. Brittany Stewart 8.351337 -83.129618 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14190 2014-12-23T17:22:00Z 2014-12-23T17:34:53Z How a frog with a strange name is helping improve conservation in Brazil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223_frog_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protecting the biodiversity of the Amazon basin is an immense undertaking, and to its credit the Brazilian government has a set procedure for doing so. However, there are gaps in the process that may prevent the authorities from fully protecting the species that call this place home. To investigate this, a recent study uses as an example the brilliant-thighed frog, a species that is found across the Amazon Basin—including the area surrounding the soon-to-be dammed Xingu River. Tiffany Roufs -2.764184 -55.485174 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14178 2014-12-20T02:23:00Z 2014-12-22T20:08:19Z Pictures: the top new animal discoveries of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1220-top-new-species-2014_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seemingly every year scientists set a new record with the number of species they describe. 2014 will be no exception. Below are some of the 'new species' highlights from the past year. The list includes species whose descriptions were first published in 2014. Some of the 'discoveries' occurred in years prior. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14176 2014-12-19T18:11:00Z 2014-12-20T03:24:54Z Puerto Rico's only native toad bounces back from edge of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1219-thumb-adult-pr-toad.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once common on the islands of Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda, the Puerto Rican crested toad declined by more than 80 percent over the past decade, leaving behind just some 200 individuals in the wild. But researchers have turned their fate around. Since 1992, they have successfully bred in captivity and re-introduced to the wild more than 300,000 of these threatened toads. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.970266 -66.844313 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14154 2014-12-15T17:08:00Z 2014-12-20T01:31:59Z New poison dart frog needs immediate conservation plan <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1208-stewart-new-dart-frog-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was a surprising discovery in an unlikely location. In a leaf litter nearly four inches deep under a dense canopy of rainforest trees, researchers Marcos Ponce and Abel Batista with the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí worked to complete an inventory of endangered species in Panama's Isthmian-Atlantic moist forest. But they were both completely unsuspecting of what they were about to find: a new poison dart frog. Brittany Stewart 9.272282 -79.931563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14037 2014-11-18T17:21:00Z 2014-11-18T17:27:33Z Rediscovered in 2010, rare Indian frog surprises by breeding in bamboo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-frog-bamboo-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For a long time, this rare white spotted bush frog lived a secretive life: the Critically Endangered Chalazodes bubble-nest frog (<i>Raorchestes chalazodes</i>) was last seen in 1874 and presumed to be extinct. That is until 2010 when a year-long expedition to try and locate ‘lost’ amphibians in India found the elusive frog in the wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, after more than 130 years. Brittany Stewart 12.972399 77.595234 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13964 2014-10-30T19:23:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:10Z Pet trade likely responsible for killer salamander fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1029.martel5HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As if amphibians weren't facing enough&#8212;a killer fungal disease, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming&#8212;now scientists say that a second fungal disease could spell disaster for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. A new paper finds that this disease has the potential to wipe out salamanders and newts across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Americas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13963 2014-10-30T15:16:00Z 2014-10-30T16:16:40Z The Search for Lost Frogs: one of conservation's most exciting expeditions comes to life in new book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/_MG_0205.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent years was the Search for Lost Frogs in 2010. The brainchild of scientist, photographer, and frog-lover, Robin Moore, the initiative brought a sense of hope&#8212;and excitement&#8212;to a whole group of animals often ignored by the global public&#8212;and media outlets. Now, Moore has written a fascinating account of the expedition: In Search of Lost Frogs. Jeremy Hance 9.559564 76.929016 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13836 2014-09-25T17:01:00Z 2014-12-30T22:32:03Z Scientists uncover six potentially new species in Peru, including bizarre aquatic mammal (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0925.newspecies.Chibchanomys.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of Peruvian and Mexican scientists say they have uncovered at least six new species near South America's most famous archaeological site: Machu Picchu. The discoveries include a new mammal, a new lizard, and four new frogs. While the scientists are working on formally describing the species, they have released photos and a few tantalizing details about the new discoveries. Jeremy Hance -13.193858 -72.531615 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13711 2014-08-25T01:32:00Z 2014-08-25T20:58:49Z Scientists honor missing activist by naming a spider after him Swiss researchers have honored the memory of a missing indigenous peoples activist by naming an undescribed species of spider after him, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, the group he founded. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13695 2014-08-21T05:03:00Z 2014-08-21T13:12:34Z Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821Raorchestes-bobingeri_Bob-Inger's-Bush-Frog_Seshadri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in <i>Biotropica</i>. The research assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and found that unlogged forests had twice the density of frogs as areas logged in the 1970s. Rhett Butler 8.688112 77.309221 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13693 2014-08-20T22:55:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:05Z New skeleton frog from Madagascar is already Critically Endangered <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0820.madfrog2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sometimes all it takes is fewer clicks. Scientists have discovered a new species of frog from Madagascar that stuck out because it "clicked" less during calls than similar species. Unfortunately the scientists believe the new species&#8212;dubbed the Ankarafa skeleton frog&#8212;is regulated to a single patch of forest, which, despite protected status, remains hugely threatened. Jeremy Hance 14°22.82'S 47°45.46'E tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13631 2014-08-05T19:17:00Z 2015-03-03T19:18:55Z Yellow spots, orange stripes: vivid new frog species discovered in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805-new-frog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of frog on the Malay Peninsula. The newly named <i>Hylorana centropeninsularis</i> was discovered in a swamp and genetic analyses revealed that it is evolutionarily distinct from its stream-dwelling cousins. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.348802 102.729721 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13617 2014-07-31T16:03:00Z 2014-08-01T23:06:00Z Ecologists are underestimating the impacts of rainforest logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0731frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal <i>Current Biology</i>. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Rhett Butler 15.736084 50.025458 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13584 2014-07-24T19:05:00Z 2014-07-25T15:32:26Z Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed to beat extinctions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0724-kakapo-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies to save the word’s most imperiled species. Morgan Erickson-Davis -42.231945 146.383773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13457 2014-06-26T19:17:00Z 2014-06-30T17:16:39Z 'Exciting implications' for conservation: new technology brings the lab to the field <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0626-frogswab-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Times have changed, and technological advancements have scaled down scientific equipment in terms of both size and cost. Among them are the tools and procedures needed to conduct molecular genetic analysis. A study published this week explored the potential applications of this new technology, and found that it allows both researchers and novices alike to analyze DNA in the field easily, cheaply, and effectively. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.545217 -88.305864 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13241 2014-05-16T20:26:00Z 2014-05-16T20:40:40Z Dancing frogs: scientists discover 14 new species in India (PHOTOS, VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0516-Micrixalusthumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered 14 new species of frogs in the mountainous tropical forests of India’s Western Ghats, all of which are described in a recent study published in the <i>Ceylon Journal of Science</i>. The new species are all from a single genus, and are collectively referred to as “dancing frogs” due to the unusual courtship behavior of the males. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.478753 75.132736 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13094 2014-04-17T14:00:00Z 2014-04-17T14:15:55Z New relative of the 'penis snake' discovered in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0417.caecilian.myanmar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered a new species of limbless amphibians, known as caecilians, in Myanmar. Dubbing the species, the colorful ichthyophis (Ichthyophis multicolor), the researchers describe the new amphibian in a recent paper published in Zootaxa. The world's most famous caecilian is the so-called penis snake (Atretochoana eiselti) which was rediscovered in Brazil in 2011. Jeremy Hance 16.738413 95.217346 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13070 2014-04-11T15:53:00Z 2014-11-25T23:15:40Z Amphibian pandemic may have hit Madagascar, hundreds of species at risk of infection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0411-madchytrid-swab-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madagascar is one of the world’s hotspots for amphibian diversity, home to so many frog species that many of them don’t even have names. But soon the island may also harbor a fungus causing drastic declines – even extinctions – of frogs around the world. Ironically, the wildlife trade that’s often blamed for helping spread the disease may also give scientists a chance to prevent it. Morgan Erickson-Davis -18.817011 48.381764 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13035 2014-04-04T16:42:00Z 2014-04-07T14:34:28Z The incredible shrinking salamander: researchers find another casualty of climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0404-lips-montanus-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is contributing to a slew of global problems, from rising seas to desertification. Now, researchers have added another repercussion: shrinking salamanders. Many amphibian populations around the world are currently experiencing precipitous declines, estimated to be at least 211 times normal extinction rates. Scientists believe these declines are due to a multitude of factors such as habitat loss, agricultural contamination, and the accidental introduction of a killer fungus, among others. Morgan Erickson-Davis 37.933742 -79.776046 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12948 2014-03-18T16:52:00Z 2014-03-18T19:04:08Z Several Amazonian tree frog species discovered, where only two existed before <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0318.amazonfrogs.Image-3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>We have always been intrigued by the Amazon rainforest with its abundant species richness and untraversed expanses. Despite our extended study of its wildlife, new species such as the olinguito (<i>Bassaricyon neblina</i>), a bear-like carnivore hiding out in the Ecuadorian rainforest, are being identified as recently as last year. In fact, the advent of efficient DNA sequencing and genomic analysis has revolutionized how we think about species diversity. Today, scientists can examine known diversity in a different way, revealing multiple 'cryptic' species that have evaded discovery by being mistakenly classified as a single species based on external appearance alone. Jeremy Hance -12.356977 -71.375915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12934 2014-03-14T18:43:00Z 2015-02-16T04:33:19Z Frog creates chemical invisibility cloak to confuse aggressive ants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0313frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The African stink ant creates large underground colonies that are home to anywhere from hundreds to thousands of ants, and occasionally a frog or two. The West African rubber frog hides in the humid nests to survive the long dry season of southern and central Africa. However, the ant colonies are armed with highly aggressive ant militias that fight off intruders with powerful, venomous jaws. So how do these frogs escape attack? Rhett Butler 11.818965 0.663815 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12877 2014-03-05T17:59:00Z 2014-03-05T18:10:14Z Scientists uncover new species of Andean marsupial frog <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0228frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The term marsupial frog sound like a hoax, but, believe it or not, it's real. Recently, herpetologists welcomed a new species, known as <i>Gastrotheca dysprosita</i> and described in the journal <i>Phyllomedusa</i>. Unlike mammal marsupials, which typically carry their young in pouches on their torsos and are found primarily in Australia, the <i>Gastrotheca</i> genus of frogs, which contains 62 species, is found in the Andes region on South America and sport their pouches on their backs (also called a "dorsal brood pouch"). Tiffany Roufs -4.468708 -75.462224 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12692 2014-01-28T04:44:00Z 2015-01-14T05:39:11Z 287 amphibian and reptile species in Peruvian park sets world record (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0128Ameerega-macero_photo_Alessandro-Catenazzi_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's official: Manu National Park in Peru has the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world. Surveys of the park, which extends from high Andean cloud forests down into the tropical rainforest of the Western Amazon, and its buffer zone turned up 155 amphibian and 132 reptile species, 16 more than the 271 species documented in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park in 2010. Rhett Butler -12.012458 -71.765871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12674 2014-01-22T17:24:00Z 2014-01-22T17:59:36Z New frog species discovered on tallest mountain in Indochina <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1125frogs150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of Australian and Vietnamese researchers recently discovered a new species of frog in the high elevations of Vietnam’s Mount Fansipan, according to a new paper in Zootaxa. The amphibian was named Botsford’s leaf-litter frog (<i>Leptolalax botsfordi</i>) as a tribute to Christopher Botsford for his role in amphibian biodiversity research in Asia. Tiffany Roufs 15.072124 108.010253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12658 2014-01-19T19:52:00Z 2014-01-20T23:47:01Z Red toad discovered in the upper reaches of the Amazon Scientists have described a previously unknown species of toad in the Peruvian Andes. Rhett Butler -10.404153 -75.310562 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12631 2014-01-14T15:33:00Z 2014-01-14T19:36:24Z High-living frogs hurt by remote oil roads in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0114.0043595_imgp5387-edit.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Often touted as low-impact, remote oil roads in the Amazon are, in fact, having a large impact on frogs living in flowers in the upper canopy, according to a new paper published in PLOS ONE. In Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, massive bromeliads grow on tall tropical trees high in the canopy and may contain up to four liters of standing water. Lounging inside this micro-pools, researchers find a wide diversity of life, including various species of frogs. However, despite these frogs living as high as 50 meters above the forest floor, a new study finds that proximity to oil roads actually decreases the populations of high-living frogs. Jeremy Hance -1.124996 -75.79196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12621 2014-01-10T16:00:00Z 2014-12-30T22:56:09Z Not seen in over 130 years, 'extinct' frog rediscovered in Sri Lanka <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0110.rediscoveredfrogsrilanka.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1876&#8212;the same year that the first telephone call was made&#8212;the British scientist Albert Günther described a new species of frog from Sri Lanka, but the species, known as the webless shrub frog (<i>Pseudophilautus hypomelas</i>), was never seen again. Having disappeared into history, scientists considered the species extinct&#8212;that is until a 2010 expedition stumbled on 40 mystery frogs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12566 2013-12-23T05:32:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:52Z Biggest new animal discoveries of 2013 (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1223newsp.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thousands of species were scientifically described for the first time in 2013. Many of these were 'cryptic species' that were identified after genetic analysis distinguished them from closely-related species, while others were totally novel. Below are some of the most interesting "new species" discoveries that took place or were formally announced in 2013. Rhett Butler -3.447625 -70.127335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12480 2013-12-04T16:39:00Z 2015-02-11T23:59:02Z Sky islands: exploring East Africa's last frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1204.Taveta-two-horned-chameleon-(Kinyongia-tavetana),-South-Pare-Mts.-Tanzania.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The montane rainforests of East Africa are little-known to the global public. The Amazon and Congo loom much larger in our minds, while the savannas of East Africa remain the iconic ecosystems for the region. However these ancient, biodiverse forests&#8212;sitting on the tops of mountains rising from the African savanna&#8212;are home to some remarkable species, many found only in a single forest. A team of international scientists&#8212;Michele Menegon, Fabio Pupin, and Simon Loader&#8212;have made it their mission to document the little-known reptiles and amphibians in these so-called sky islands, many of which are highly imperiled. Jeremy Hance -12.077428 37.631686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12441 2013-11-25T16:05:00Z 2015-02-11T23:55:54Z Microhabitats could buffer some rainforest animals against climate change As temperatures increase worldwide due to anthropogenic climate change, scientists are scrambling to figure out if species will be able to survive rapidly warming ecosystems. A new study in Global Change Biology offers a little hope. Studying reptiles and amphibians in the Philippines, scientists say some of these species may be able to seek refuge in cooler microhabitats, such as tree holes or under the soil, in order to stay alive during intensifying heatwaves. But, the scientists' stress, the shelter from microhabitats can only protect so far. Jeremy Hance 16.730907 121.001587 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12426 2013-11-21T06:40:00Z 2013-11-21T17:20:07Z Strange mouth-brooding frog driven to extinction by disease <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1121-Rhinoderma-darwinii-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An unusual species of mouth-brooding frog was likely driven to extinction by the fungus <i>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis</i> (Bd), making an unusual example of 'extinction by infection', argue scientists writing in the open-access journal <i>PLOS ONE</i>. <i>Rhinoderma rufum</i> has not been seen in the wild since 1980. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12337 2013-11-08T15:41:00Z 2013-11-08T15:47:04Z Critically Endangered Jamaican iguana imperiled by port development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1101iguana150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The story of the Jamaican iguana (<i>Cyclura collie</i>) is one of adversity and resurgence. Once believed extinct, the species has made a remarkable comeback over the last two decades. However, according to concerned scientists, a new plan to build a massive port in the iguana's habitat could push the species back to the edge of extinction. Tiffany Roufs 18.216307 -77.338715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12312 2013-11-04T19:52:00Z 2013-11-05T19:00:59Z Thought-to-be-extinct 'halloween' frog rediscovered in Costa Rica <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104-atelopus-varius-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A breeding population of a critically endangered harlequin toad thought to be extinct in Costa Rica has been discovered in a tract of highland forest in the Central American country, reports a paper published in <i>Amphibia-Reptilia</i>. <i>Atelopus varius</i>, an orange-and-black harlequin toad, was once relatively common from central Costa Rica to western Panama. But beginning in the 1980's the species experienced a rapid population collapse across most of its range. Rhett Butler 8.801449 -83.014439 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12264 2013-10-28T18:09:00Z 2013-10-28T19:33:36Z New to science: 2 lizards, 1 frog discovered on Australian expedition (pictures) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1028-Leaf-tail-Gecko150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers from James Cook University and National Geographic discovered three new herp species &#8212; a cryptic leaf-tail gecko, a colorful skink, and a frog &#8212; during an expedition to northeastern Australia. The species are described in three papers published in October in the journal <i>Zootaxa</i>. Rhett Butler -14.430358 144.565262 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12224 2013-10-22T17:42:00Z 2013-10-24T18:21:56Z Small invertebrates could be key to uncovering the mysteries of killer amphibian fungus <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1023bd150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2004, the first-ever Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) reviewed all 5,743 amphibian species known to science and concluded that 32% were threatened with extinction - a number far exceeding corresponding figures for birds and mammals (12 to 23% respectively). In addition to the usual culprits of climate change and habitat destruction, a startling 92.5% of amphibians listed as Critically Endangered were found to be undergoing enigmatic declines linked to an unexpected perpetrator - the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Tiffany Roufs 37.961523 -91.168213 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12183 2013-10-11T13:06:00Z 2015-02-11T23:44:17Z Scientists discover cocoa frog and 60 other new species in remote Suriname (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1011.cocoa.ci_47564467_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In one of the most untouched and remote rainforests in the world, scientists have discovered some sixty new species, including a chocolate-colored frog and a super-mini dung beetle. The species were uncovered in Southeastern Suriname during a Rapid Assessment Program (RAP); run by Conservation International (CI), RAPS involve sending teams of specialists into little-known ecosystems to record as much biodiversity as they can in a short time. In this case, sixteen researchers from around the world had about three weeks to document the region's biodiversity. Jeremy Hance 2.486249 -55.508637 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12165 2013-10-04T13:54:00Z 2013-10-08T01:29:07Z Amphibians evolve resistance to popular pesticide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1001frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rachel Carson and, more recently, Sandra Steingraber have successfully drawn popular attention to the risks of pesticides on wildlife. Many of the environmental consequences of pesticides have now been well documented by scientists; however, studies investigating the evolutionary consequences of pesticides on non-target species are largely missing. Not surprisingly, most studies looking at how species evolve in response to pesticide-use have been on target species such as mosquitoes and crop pests, which show that some target species have evolved resistance to common pesticides. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12104 2013-09-19T18:39:00Z 2013-09-30T16:25:13Z Newly discovered chytrid fungus devastates salamander populations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0918fungus150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A frightening disease has been ravaging amphibians across the planet. At least 350 species have been infected, two hundred of which have suffered massive population reductions or extinctions, some even occurring within the space of weeks. In 1999, a single fungal species called <i>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis</i> (Bd), commonly known as the chytrid fungus, was identified as the causative agent for these rapid die-offs. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12078 2013-09-16T14:01:00Z 2015-02-11T23:39:17Z Photo essay: India's Western Ghats is a haven for endemic amphibians <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0915.Picture-8_Raorchestes-glandulosus_ShashankDalvi_KrithiKaranth_CWS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats are a globally recognized repository of biological diversity for our planet. We know very little about most species found here, particularly the ecologically sensitive and spectacularly beautiful 179 amphibians. Astonishingly, 87% of all Western Ghats frogs are endemic and found nowhere else on the planet. Our collaborative research project with Drs Paul Robbins and Ashwini Chhatre examining biodiversity in production landscapes of Ghats unearthed some spectacular amphibians in 2013. Jeremy Hance 14.615478 74.70108 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11792 2013-07-19T02:19:00Z 2013-07-19T02:23:13Z New poison dart frog discovered in 'Lost World' Scientists have described a new species of poison dart frog after discovering it during a study to determine the impact of tourism on biodiversity in a tract of rainforest known as 'The Lost World' in Guyana. Rhett Butler 4.346411 -58.733768 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11775 2013-07-16T13:42:00Z 2013-07-16T17:21:42Z Madagascar's rate of speciation slowing down While Madagascar is famous for its incredible diversity of plants and animals, a new study suggests that the island's rate of speciation has slowed to a crawl. Rhett Butler -21.320081 47.377682 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11708 2013-07-02T20:05:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:25Z Vocal-sac breeding frog possibly extinct <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0702.Rhinoderma-rufum-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Somewhere in the wet pine forests of Chile, a male frog is gulping-up a bunch of eggs. No he's not eating them, he's just being a good dad. Darwin's frogs are known for their unique parenting-style: tadpoles are incubated in the vocal sac of the father. First recorded by Charles Darwin during his world famous voyage aboard the Beagle, the amphibians were common in the native Chilean pine forests until the last few decades. Now, scientists believe that one of the two species, the northern Darwin's frog (<i>Rhinoderma rufum</i>), may have vanished for good. And the other is hanging on by a thread. Jeremy Hance -41.689322 -73.592835 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11694 2013-07-01T17:47:00Z 2013-07-07T16:45:29Z Amazonian students help monitor threatened frog populations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0627.frogeyes.DSC_0074.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on Earth: currently around 30 percent of the world's amphibians are listed as threatened with extinction. However this percentage doesn't include those species about which too little is known to evaluate (26 percent). Amphibians face many threats but two of the largest are habitat loss and the lethal chytrid fungus, which has rapidly spread worldwide and is likely responsible for numerous extinctions. But conservationists are coming up with innovative and creative ways to keep amphibians from disappearing, including a program from the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) that is working with students in the Peruvian Amazon to monitor frog populations. Jeremy Hance -2.065154 -74.370089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11644 2013-06-25T19:00:00Z 2015-02-11T23:09:58Z New maps highlight global conservation priorities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0625.mapbiodiversity.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What region of the world has the most imperiled mammals? Where are the most bird species found? And where are new amphibians being discovered? Indonesia and Malaysia is the answer to the first question; the Amazon, the second; and the Andes, the third. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has used global data on 21,000 mammals, birds, and amphibians to create magnificent maps that highlight missing priorities for conservation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11548 2013-06-04T23:37:00Z 2013-06-07T16:21:14Z Palm oil expansion endangering rare frogs in Malaysia Expansion of the palm oil industry in Malaysia is destroying key habitat for endangered frogs, putting them at greater risk, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Conservation Biology</i>. Rhett Butler 3.584695 101.326046 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11491 2013-05-28T13:02:00Z 2013-05-29T05:31:55Z Turning up the temperature might save frogs' lives <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0526.Litoria_nannotis_Rowley.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past 30 years, amphibians worldwide have been infected with a lethal skin disease known as the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). "The disease can cause rapid mortality, with infected frogs of susceptible species dying within weeks of infection in the laboratory." Jodi Rowley, a herpetologist with the Australian Museum told mongabay.com. "This disease has now been associated with declines and extinctions in hundreds of species of amphibians worldwide, and is a serious threat to global amphibian biodiversity." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11415 2013-05-13T15:01:00Z 2015-02-09T22:57:20Z Climate change to halve habitat for over 10,000 common species Even as concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history last week, a new study in <i>Nature Climate Change</i> warns that thousands of the world's common species will suffer grave habitat loss under climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11280 2013-04-22T14:13:00Z 2015-02-09T22:49:19Z Two new frog genera discovered in India's Western Ghats, but restricted to threatened swamp-ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0422.Tadpole.newfrogs.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The misty mountains of the Western Ghats seem to unravel new secrets the more you explore it. Researchers have discovered two new frog genera, possibly restricted to rare and threatened freshwater swamps in the southern Western Ghats of India. The discoveries, described in the open-access journal Zootaxa, prove once again the importance of the mountain range as a biodiversity hotspot. Jeremy Hance 9.714472 76.947327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11210 2013-04-10T23:10:00Z 2013-04-12T03:36:59Z Saviors or villains: controversy erupts as New Zealand plans to drop poison over Critically Endangered frog habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0410.800px-1080PoisonWarning_gobeirne.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC) is facing a backlash over plans to aerially drop a controversial poison, known as 1080, over the habitat of two endangered, prehistoric, and truly bizarre frog species, Archey's and Hochsetter's frogs, on Mount Moehau. Used in New Zealand to kill populations of invasive mammals, such as rats and the Australian long-tailed possum, 1080 has become an increasingly emotive issue in New Zealand, not just splitting the government and environmentalists, but environmental groups among themselves. Critics allege that the poison, for which there is no antidote, decimates local animals as well as invasives, while proponents say the drops are the best way to control invasive mammals that kill endangered species like birds and frogs and may spread bovine tuberculosis (TB). Jeremy Hance -36.54095 175.40185 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11128 2013-03-27T22:56:00Z 2015-03-05T04:21:14Z Relative of the 'penis snake' discovered in South America (photos) A new species of caecilian - a worm-like amphibian - has been discovered in French Guiana. Rhett Butler 5.485986 -53.994007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11087 2013-03-21T12:05:00Z 2015-02-09T22:41:19Z Scientists discover 8 new frogs in one sanctuary, nearly all Critically Endangered (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0321.o3099-Image-29.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two surveys in the mountainous forests of Sri Lanka's Peak Wilderness Sanctuary have uncovered eight new species of frogs, according to a massive new paper in the <i>Journal of Threatened Taxa</i>. While every year over a hundred new amphibians are discovered, eight new discoveries in a single park is especially notable. Sri Lanka is an amphibian-lovers paradise with well over 100 described species, most of which are endemic, i.e. found only on the small island country. Unfortunately the country has also seen more frog extinctions than anywhere else, and seven of the eight new species are already thought to be Critically Endangered. Jeremy Hance 6.809491 80.499378 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11063 2013-03-19T16:54:00Z 2015-02-09T22:41:04Z The beautiful amphibian from Hell: scientists discover new crocodile newt in Vietnam (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0318.Ty-ziegleri-adult_1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have discovered a new species of Vietnamese salamander that looks like it was birthed from an abyssal volcano. Found tucked away in Tokyo's National Museum of Nature and Science, the scientists described the species in the new edition of <i>Current Herpetology</i>. Coal-black with orange-tinted toes, the new crocodile newt (in the genus Tylototriton) was determined to be a new species when it showed morphological and genetic differences from near relatives. Despite its remarkable appearance, the researchers say these are typical colors for crocodile newts. Jeremy Hance 22.427532 104.812202 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11061 2013-03-18T14:26:00Z 2015-02-16T04:34:48Z Scientists clone extinct frog that births young from its mouth Australian scientists have produced cloned embryos of an extinct species of frog known for its strange reproductive behavior, reports the University of New South Wales. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11010 2013-03-07T22:20:00Z 2015-02-09T22:38:01Z Captive frogs may be spreading diseases to wild cousins across Southeast Asia Scientists have documented a series of links between exotic frogs for trade and diseases in wild frogs in Southeast Asia, including the first documented case of the chytrid fungus&#8212;a virulent and lethal disease&#8212;in Singapore. According to researchers writing in a new study in EcoHealth, frogs imported into Southeast Asia as pets, food, or traditional medicine are very likely spreading diseases to wild populations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11004 2013-03-07T17:11:00Z 2015-02-09T22:38:19Z Starry frog rediscovered after thought extinct for 160 years (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0307.starryfrog.IMG_3091.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1853 Edward Frederick Kelaart, a physician and naturalist, collected a strange frog on the island of Sri Lanka then a British colony known as Ceylon. The specimen was a large shrub frog (about 2 inches or 5.5 centimeters long) with black-outlined white specks on lime-green skin. He dubbed it "starry" after its pale specks, but that was last anyone heard of it. Even the holotype&#8212;the body of the amphibian collected by Kelaart&#8212;went missing. Fast forward nearly 160 years&#8212;two world wars, Sri Lanka's independence, and a man on the moon&#8212;when a recent expedition into Sri Lanka's Peak Wilderness rediscovered a beguiling frog with pinkish specks. Jeremy Hance 6.84701 80.477242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10948 2013-03-01T19:17:00Z 2015-02-14T14:37:27Z Frogs radio-tracked for first time in Madagascar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0227-radio-tracking-frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have radio-tracked frogs for the first time in Madagascar. Attaching tiny radio transmitters weighing 0.3-0.35 grams (1/100 of an ounce) to 36 rainbow frogs (<i>Scaphiophryne gottlebei</i>), the research team tracked the movement of the colorful frogs through rugged canyons in Madagascar's Isalo Massif. They found that the frogs have a short breeding period that occurs after the first intense rainfall at the start of the rainy season. Rhett Butler -22.350076 45.214233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10944 2013-02-28T19:30:00Z 2013-02-28T19:44:55Z Two new species of mini-salamander discovered in Colombia Biologists have discovered two new species of salamander in Tamá National Natural Park in Colombia. While the discovery should be cause for celebration, the news was dampened by the fact that both species are already infected with the deadly fungal disease, known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has wiped out amphibian populations worldwide. Both of the new salamanders belong to the genus Bolitoglossa, which are web-footed salamanders found in the tropical Americas. Rhett Butler 7.275973 -72.247467 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10908 2013-02-21T03:34:00Z 2013-02-21T04:04:21Z 15 percent of Guyana's reptiles and amphibians found nowhere else Fifteen percent of Guyana's 324 known species of reptiles and amphibians are found nowhere else in the world, reports a comprehensive new assessment published in the journal <i>Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington</i>. Rhett Butler 2.668712 -57.930908 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10779 2013-01-29T17:28:00Z 2015-02-09T22:27:30Z Beyond the resorts: traveling the real and wild Dominican Republic (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0129.DR-jlh-142.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For its stunning variety of ecosystems, the Dominican Republic is like a continent squished into half an island. Lowland rainforests, cloud forests, pine forests, dry forests, mangroves, savannah, coastal lagoons, salt lakes, a rift valley, karst land formations, four mountain ranges&#8212;including the highest mountain in the Caribbean&#8212;and not to mention some of the best beaches, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the hemisphere can all be reached within just a few hours drive of the capital, Santo Domingo. Yet, bizarrely, most tourists who visit the Dominican Republic never venture out of their all-inclusive resort, missing out on some of the most stunning landscapes&#8212;and accessible wildlife viewing&#8212;in the Caribbean. Jeremy Hance 19.017887 -69.621502 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10774 2013-01-28T19:25:00Z 2015-02-09T22:27:23Z Popular pesticides kill frogs outright <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/800px-European_Common_Frog_Rana_temporaria.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Commonly used agrochemicals (pesticides, fungicides and herbicides) kill frogs outright when sprayed on fields even when used at recommended dosages, according to new research in Scientific Reports. Testing seven chemicals on European common frogs (Rana temporaria), the scientists found that all of them were potentially lethal to amphibians. In fact, two fungicides&#8212;Headline and Captain Omya&#8212;wiped out the entire population of frogs at the recommended dosage. The study warns that agricultural chemicals could be having a large-scale and largely unrecorded impact on the world's vanishing amphibians. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10685 2013-01-14T15:44:00Z 2013-02-05T15:00:56Z Common toads ravaged by killer disease in Portugal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0114.midwifetoad.tail.IMG_6413.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The chytrid fungus&#8212;responsible for millions of amphibian deaths worldwide&#8212;is now believed to be behind a sudden decline in the common midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans), according to a new paper in Animal Conservation. Researchers have detected the presence of the deadly fungus in the Serra da Estrela, north-central Portugal, home to a population of the midwife toad. Jeremy Hance 40.428264 -7.56496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10658 2013-01-09T14:28:00Z 2015-02-09T22:19:37Z New giant flying frog discovered near city of 9 million <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0109.Rhacophorus_helenae_Rowley_1_smll.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jodi Rowley is no stranger to discovering new amphibians&#8212;she's helped describe over 10 in her short career thus far&#8212;but still she was shocked to discover a new species of flying frog less than 100 kilometers from a major, bustling Southeast Asian metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City. Unfortunately, the new frog, dubbed Helen's tree frog (Rhacophorus helenae), may be on the verge of extinction, according to the description published in the Journal of Herpetology. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10589 2012-12-18T18:26:00Z 2012-12-18T18:55:07Z Pictures: 126 new species discovered in Greater Mekong region last year Some 126 new species were described in Asia'a Mekong region last year, notes a new report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10373 2012-11-08T16:42:00Z 2015-02-09T22:12:43Z Meet Cape Town's volunteer 'toad shepherds' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/capetownshepherds.toadlet.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>August marks the last month of winter in South Africa, and, as temperatures begin to rise, activists in Cape Town prepare for a truly unique conservation event. Every year at this time western leopard toads (Amietophrynus pantherinus) endemic to the region and Critically Endangered, embark on a night-time migration through Cape Town from their homes in the city's gardens to the ponds they use as breeding sites&#8212;as far as three kilometers away. This season over one hundred volunteers took to the streets, flashlights in hand, to assist the toads in navigating the increasing number of man-made obstacles in their path. Among them was life-long resident and mother, Hanniki Pieterse, who serves as an organizer for volunteers in her area. Jeremy Hance -33.947917 18.560944 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10364 2012-11-05T14:35:00Z 2015-02-09T22:09:58Z New rare frog discovered in Sri Lanka, but left wholly unprotected <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/newfrog.srilanka.Polypedates_ranwellai.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sri Lanka, an island country lying off the southeast coast of India, has long been noted for its vast array of biodiversity. Islands in general are renowned for their weird and wonderful creatures, including high percentages of endemic species&#8212;and Sri Lanka, where scientists recently discovered a new frog species, is no exception. Jeremy Hance 6.697684 80.404415 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10353 2012-11-01T17:38:00Z 2015-02-09T22:09:41Z Artificial 'misting system' allows vanished toad to be released back into the wild <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/animals_02633.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1996 scientists discovered a new species of dwarf toad: the Kihansi spray toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis). Although surviving on only two hectares near the Kihansi Gorge in Tanzania, the toads proved populous: around 17,000 individuals crowded the smallest known habitat of any vertebrate, living happily off the moist micro-habitat created by spray from adjacent waterfalls. Eight years later and the Kihansi spray toad was gone. Disease combined with the construction of a hydroelectric dam ended the toads' limited, but fecund, reign. Jeremy Hance -8.465384 35.66831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10303 2012-10-24T15:06:00Z 2013-02-05T15:11:10Z Indonesia remains epicenter for illegal wildlife trade in reptiles and amphibians <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/IMG_3027.indonesianreps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Demand for exotic pets is driving the illegal harvest and trade of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in Indonesian New Guinea, according to a recent study published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Between September 2010 and April 2011, Daniel Natusch and Jessica Lyons of the University of New South Wales surveyed traders of amphibians and reptiles in the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, West Papua and Papua. Jeremy Hance -3.107606 129.680786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10173 2012-09-18T17:15:00Z 2015-02-08T23:22:39Z Scientists name new snake species to criticize mine plans in Panama (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Sibon.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While scientists increasingly name new species after celebrities in order to gain much-needed attention for the world's vanishing biodiversity, researchers describing a new snake species from Panama have taken a different route. Dubbing the new serpent, Sibon noalamina ('no to the mine!' in Spanish), the scientists are hoping the multicolored snake's unusual name will draw attention to mining and deforestation issues in Panama's remote Tabasará mountains. Jeremy Hance 8.054471 -81.647758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10118 2012-09-11T14:38:00Z 2012-09-11T14:58:32Z Vote for the world's seven wonders of vanishing species The seven wonders of the world is an ancient tradition going back to the 2nd Century BCE. But where those first lists focused on manmade marvels, many 'seven wonders' today also take note of the natural world. Now, a new program by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) hopes to use the 'seven wonders' concept to highlight imperiled species by allowing people to vote for their favorites. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10112 2012-09-10T12:41:00Z 2015-02-08T23:23:17Z Teetering on the edge: the world's 100 most endangered species (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Antilophia-bokermanni-Copyright-Ciro-Albano-wwwnebrazilbirdingcom.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From the Baishan fir (five left in the world) to the Sumatran rhino (around 250), a new report highlights the world's top 100 most endangered species, according to the the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The list spans the taxonomic gamut, from fungi (Cryptomyces maximus) to amphibians (the Table Mountain ghost frog) to flowers (the Cayman Islands ghost orchid) and much more (see full list at the end of the article). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10111 2012-09-07T19:13:00Z 2012-09-07T19:44:31Z Tiny new frog discovered in India bypasses the free-swimming tadpole stage A tiny new frog species has been discovered in the rainforests of India's Western Ghats. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10069 2012-08-28T16:45:00Z 2015-02-08T23:19:33Z Private reserve safeguards newly discovered frogs in Ecuadorian cloud forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/N.-lasgralariasmb.lasgralarias.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although it covers only 430 hectares (1,063 acres) of the little-known Chocó forest in Ecuador, the private reserve las Gralarias in Ecuador is home to an incredible explosion of life. Long known as a birder's paradise, the Reserva las Gralarias is now making a name for itself as a hotspot for new and endangered amphibians, as well as hundreds of stunning species of butterfly and moth. This is because the reserve is set in the perfect place for evolution to run wild: cloud forest spanning vast elevational shifts. "The pacific slope cloud forests [...] are among the most endangered habitats in the world," explains Reserva las Gralarias' founder, Jane Lyons, in a recent interview with mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 0.00412 -78.788681 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10001 2012-08-13T15:13:00Z 2012-08-13T16:04:26Z Climate change may be worsening impacts of killer frog disease Climate change, which is spawning more extreme temperatures variations worldwide, may be worsening the effects of a devastating fungal disease on the world's amphibians, according to new research published in Nature Climate Change. Researchers found that frogs infected with the disease, known as chytridiomycosis, perished more rapidly when temperatures swung wildly. However scientists told the BBC that more research is needed before any definitive link between climate change and chytridiomycosis mortalities could be made. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9959 2012-08-01T21:43:00Z 2013-11-10T03:25:07Z 'Penis snake' discovered in Brazil is actually a rare species of amphibian A creature discovered by engineers building a dam in the Amazon is a type of caecilian, a limbless amphibian that resembles an earthworm or as some are noting, part of the male anatomy. Rhett Butler -8.801692 -63.950796 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9943 2012-07-31T05:39:00Z 2012-07-31T20:22:51Z 3000 new species of amphibians discovered in 25 years The number of amphibians described by scientists now exceeds 7,000, or roughly 3,000 more than were known just 25 years ago, report researchers in Berkeley. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9880 2012-07-23T13:47:00Z 2012-08-16T17:24:34Z Scientists testing anti-fungal bacteria on diseased frogs in California Researchers are treating tadpoles in Kings Canyon National Park with a bacteria they hope will provide immunity to an infamous fungal disease, reports the San Francisco Gate. The bacteria could be key not only to saving California's mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa), which is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, but also frog species around the planet, many of which have been decimated by the chytrid fungal disease. Jeremy Hance 36.801038 -118.68885 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9830 2012-07-12T18:46:00Z 2015-02-08T23:08:59Z Still time to save most species in the Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/wearn3HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once habitat is lost or degraded, a species doesn't just wink out of existence: it takes time, often several generations, before a species vanishes for good. A new study in Science investigates this process, called "extinction debt", in the Brazilian Amazon and finds that 80-90 percent of the predicted extinctions of birds, amphibians, and mammals have not yet occurred. But, unless urgent action is taken, the debt will be collected, and these species will vanish for good in the next few decades. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9778 2012-07-04T23:43:00Z 2012-07-05T04:23:08Z New colorful rainforest frog named after Prince Charles (PICTURES) Researchers have discovered a previously unknown species of frog and named it in honor of Price Charles, according to a paper published in the journal <i>Zootaxa</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9767 2012-07-02T18:51:00Z 2012-07-02T19:38:17Z Scientific expedition to survey species in China's Bigfoot territory This month, nearly 40 scientists will enter a wild and remote region of western China, reports China's state media Xinhua. Spending several weeks in Shennongjia Nature Reserve, the researchers hope to study rare species like the golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana), which is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. But the forest is also the source of China's 'wild man' sightings; known locally as the 'Yeren,' the unconfirmed primate has also been dubbed China's Bigfoot. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9737 2012-06-28T12:23:00Z 2015-02-08T23:05:38Z 96 percent of the world's species remain unevaluated by the Red List <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/z8720.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 250 species have been added to the threatened categories&#8212;i.e. Vulnerable, Endangered, and Critically Endangered&#8212;in this year's update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List. The 247 additions&#8212;including sixty bird species&#8212;pushes the number of threatened species globally perilously close to 20,000. However to date the Red List has only assessed 4 percent of the world's known species; for the other 96 percent, scientists simply don't know how they are faring. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9718 2012-06-21T13:16:00Z 2012-06-21T15:29:24Z Frog secretion illicitly used to help racehorses run faster A compound found in the secretions of a South American frog is being used to boost the performance of racehorses, reports <i>The New York Times</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9689 2012-06-18T16:42:00Z 2015-02-08T22:52:02Z Extinct toad rediscovered after hiding for 133 years in Sri Lanka <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/IMG_9321_1.kandyandwarftoad.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A small toad not seen since 1876, and considered by many to be extinct, has been rediscovered in a stream in Sri Lanka. First recorded in 1872, the Kandyan dwarf toad had (Adenomus kandianus) vanished for over a century before being found by scientists during a survey in 2009 in the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, according to a new paper in Zootaxa. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9636 2012-06-08T02:25:00Z 2012-06-08T04:14:53Z EPA considers ban on herbicide that triggers sex reversal in frogs The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will weigh a ban on Atrazine, a widely used herbicide linked to sex reversal and other reproductive problems in amphibians and fish. The chemical, which is manufactured by Syngenta, has been banned in the European Union since 2004 but some 80 million pounds Atrazine are applied to corn, sugarcane, sorghum and rice in the United States each year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9580 2012-05-29T19:48:00Z 2015-02-05T01:21:40Z Herp paradise preserved in Guatemala <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/sierracarrel.salamander.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifteen conservation groups have banded together to save around 2,400 hectares (6,000 acres) of primary rainforest in Guatemala, home to a dozen imperiled amphibians as well as the recently discovered Merendon palm pit viper (<i>Bothriechis thalassinus</i>). The new park, dubbed the Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve, lies in the Guatemalan mountains on the border with Honduras in a region that has been called the most important conservation area in Guatemala. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9560 2012-05-24T00:12:00Z 2015-02-05T01:21:16Z Less than 100 pygmy sloths survive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sloth-ball_ZSL.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The pygmy three-toed sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is one of the world's most endangered mammals, according to a detailed survey of the population, which found less than 100 sloths hanging on in their island home. Only described by researchers in 2001, the pygmy sloth lives on a single uninhabited island off the coast of Panama. But human impacts, such as deforestation of the island's mangroves, may be pushing the species to extinction. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9546 2012-05-22T16:19:00Z 2015-02-05T01:20:52Z New frog species leaves scientists' fingers yellow <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/newfrog.yellowdyer.2774-G-3-layout.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A beautiful, yellow frog species has been discovered in western Panama, according to a new paper in ZooKeys. Scientists were surprised when handling the new species to find their fingers stained bright yellow by its skin, but even after laboratory research the purpose of this dye remains a mystery. The new species, named Diasporus citrinobapheus, is a member of the large rain frog family, whose members skip the tadpole stage and instead are born directly from eggs as tiny froglets. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9518 2012-05-15T15:32:00Z 2015-02-05T01:18:51Z Wildlife in the tropics plummets by over 60 percent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/animals_02478.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 48 years wildlife populations in the tropics, the region that holds the bulk of the world's biodiversity, have fallen by an alarming 61 percent, according to the most recent update to the Living Planet Index. Produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the index currently tracks almost 10,000 populations of 2,688 vertebrate species (including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) in both the tropics and temperate regions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9451 2012-04-28T15:16:00Z 2012-04-28T21:59:05Z Frog photos for Save the Frogs Day Today is Save the Frogs Day, a global event that aims to raise awareness on the plight of amphibians, which are increasingly endangered by climate change, habitat loss and degradation, pollution, invasive species, overexploitation, and the outbreak of a deadly fungal disease. In recognition of Save the Frogs Day, there are dozens of activities occurring around the world. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9418 2012-04-19T18:05:00Z 2015-02-05T01:14:54Z Mad frog bonanza: up to 36 new frogs discovered in tiny Madagascar forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Platypelis-sp.2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A forest less than half the size of Manhattan sports an astounding number of frogs, according to a new paper in <i>Biodiversity Conservation</i>. Two surveys of Madagascar's Betampona Nature Reserve, which covers 2,228 hectares, has uncovered 76 unique frogs, 36 of which may be new to science. To put this in perspective: the U.S. and Canada combined contain just 88 frog species, but cover an area nearly a million times larger than Betampona. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9417 2012-04-19T13:59:00Z 2015-02-05T01:14:46Z Two new frogs discovered in Philippines spur calls for more conservation efforts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Platymantis_sp1_DIESMOS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two new frogs have been discovered on the Philippine island of Leyte during a biological survey last year by Fauna and Flora International, which also recorded a wealth of other species. Discovered in November on the island's Nacolod mountain range, the frogs have yet to be named. The Philippines is one of the world's global biodiversity hotspots, yet suffers from widespread deforestation and degradation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9316 2012-03-27T22:47:00Z 2015-02-05T01:10:49Z Photos: the aye-aye of frogs rediscovered after 62 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/C_cyaneospila_(Blackburn).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A pair of researchers have rediscovered a long-lost frog in the tiny African country of Burundi. Known as the Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila), the species hadn't been seen for over 60 years&#8212;since the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear weapon in 1949&#8212;but was rediscovered in Bururi Forest Reserve. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9276 2012-03-19T16:48:00Z 2015-02-05T01:02:02Z Tink frog calls allow researchers to measure population Given their often tiny size and cryptic nature, how does one determine frog populations in the rainforest? Just eavesdrop. A new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society (TCS) employed automated recorders to listen to amphibian calls to determine if the common tink frog (Diasporus diastema) could be found in recovering secondary forests in Costa Rica. Jeremy Hance