Monday, 13 April 2015

Lake Oku clawed frog saved from brink of extinction

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has successfully bred the rare Lake Oku clawed frog

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

12:01AM BST 13 Apr 2015

One of the world’s most critically endangered frogs, which lives in just one African lake, has been bred for the first time in captivity.

The Lake Oku clawed frog is 35th on the list of the world’s most at risk animals and was in danger of becoming extinct within the next decade because of invasive fish and disease.

However the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) said it had successfully bred the frogs for the first time, which should ensure the future survival of the species.

Ben Tapley, head of the reptile and amphibian team at London Zoo said: “These critically endangered amphibians represent a unique branch of the evolutionary tree of life.

“Due to their restriction in the wild to just a single and relatively small site, they’re incredibly vulnerable to threats of invasive species or disease, which would be catastrophic if introduced to Lake Oku.”

Native only to the single high altitude freshwater lake in Western Cameroon, the small, totally aquatic frogs are some of the most genetically unusual creatures in the world, having developed extra chromosomes during their evolution.

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