Monday, 10 July 2017

Boy finds ‘extinct’ frog in Ecuador and helps revive species

7 July 2017

By Lou Del Bello

A school-age boy has rediscovered an Ecuadorian frog considered extinct for at least 30 years. The animal has now successfully bred in captivity.

The colourful Jambato harlequin frog (Atelopus ignescens) was once so widespread in Ecuador that it turned up in people’s homes, was something children played with and was used as an ingredient in traditional medicine. Then it was suddenly wiped out, probably by a combination of climate change and fungal disease.

“It was such a long-standing presence in the Ecuadorian community that we would have never conceived it could disappear,” says Luis Coloma of the Jambatu Center for Research and Conservation of Amphibians.
But it did. Until now, that is.

In 2016, the centre offered a $1000 cash prize for anyone able to find the lost frog, not expecting success but hoping to raise awareness of amphibian conservation.

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