News / Asia

Hunt for Missing Frogs Leaps Across 5 Continents

Some lost species - once believed extinct - are rediscovered

The Rio Pescado Stubfoot toad was most likely a victim of the fungus, Chytridiomycosis.
The Rio Pescado Stubfoot toad was most likely a victim of the fungus, Chytridiomycosis.

Multimedia

Audio
Rosanne Skirble

Research teams have fanned out across the globe in search of frogs that haven't been seen for at least a decade.

The coordinated hunt into remote forests, swampy fields and dark caves underscores the rapid decline of amphibians and the urgent need to protect them. Robin Moore heads the Search for the Lost Frogs Campaign, sponsored by Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

He says among the most curious on the list is the once abundant Golden Toad which lived in a protected area of Costa Rica and disappeared in a little over a year.

"In 1989, one individual male turned up at a pool waiting for mates to breed. And that was the last individual ever seen," he says.

Teams are also looking for the Gastric Brooding Frog, last spotted in 1985. Moore says what's unique about this Australian amphibian is its way of breeding. "The females actually swallow the eggs and they develop in her stomach into small frogs which then hatch out through her mouth."

Other amphibians with colorful names like the Scarlet Frog from Venezuela, the Hula Painted Frog from Israel and the Rio Pescado Stubfoot Toad from Ecuador have been given their own search teams. But the outlook is not bright.

One-third of the world's more than 6,000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, due to disease, habitat loss, pollution and climate change.

Despite the odds, Moore says some teams have confirmed rediscoveries including the small brown Ivory Coast Mt. Nimba Reed Frog, last seen in 1967.

"It's a huge discovery from a scientific and conservation perspective for the team and for us."

But Ivory Coast scientist N'Goran Kouama, who found the frog in a swampy field, worries that if people continue to destroy its habitat the frog will truly vanish. He says its rediscovery promotes a sense of pride over unique African resources. "[It shows] to everyone that we have a heritage here and we must protect it."

Robin Moore on an expedition in search of the Mesopotamia Beaked tToad, last seen in Colombia in 1914.
Robin Moore on an expedition in search of the Mesopotamia Beaked tToad, last seen in Colombia in 1914.

The Mt. Nimba Reed Frog was one of three species rediscovered in recent weeks, along with the pink-footed Cave Splayfoot salamander in Mexico and the florescent spotted Omaniundu Reed Frog in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Moore says the amphibians provide important clues about why some species have survived and others have not.

More importantly, he adds their survival also draws attention to the benefits that a healthy ecosystem provides, not only for frogs, but for people. "[They help] regulate things such as fresh water, rainfall. It's really our support system and we need to take care of it, not just for its good, but for our good as well."

Amphibians also help control insects that spread disease and damage crops. The chemicals in their skins have been important in helping to create new drugs. Although the global campaign ends this month, it has spawned country specific projects that will continue the search while also promoting conservation.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid