The last known member of Rabbs' fringe-limbed tree frog has died recently and its death means that the species does not exist anymore
The world’s last known Rabbs' fringe-limbed tree frog has recently found dead in its enclosure. Nicknamed “Toughie,” the frog resided at the Atlanta Botanical Garden botanic garden and its body was discovered on Monday during routine inspection. This means that the rare species of tree frog is now wiped out and we cannot probably see this frog species ever again.
The famed frog was a male who was collected in Panama and was estimated to be at least 12 years old. Toughie was considered the last member of the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog species because no other individual from the species has been seen in the wild since 2007.
Rabbs' fringe-limbed tree frog was originally discovered in 2005 but was not revealed until 2008. The species was listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN in 2009, just one year after it officially got recognition as a separate species. These frogs were known for their excelling climbing skills as they tend to spend most of their life on trees. The species was narrowly distributed in the mountainous region of Panama but as mentioned earlier, it has not been observed for almost a decade now.
The second-last Rabbs' fringe-limbed tree frog was euthanized in 2012 at Zoo Atlanta after its health started to fail, leaving Toughie as the only known member of the species. Scientists are still hoping that Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog may not be truly gone and they might one day be found again.
“The habits of this genus can make them extremely difficult to find if they remain high up in the trees,” said Jonathan Kolby, director of the Honduras Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center told Scientific American.
“Being that this species breed in tree cavities up in the canopy, I would hope that this behavior offers some protection from exposure to chytrid fungus, although the species was reported to become much less common after the arrival of chytrid in the region.”