Tiny Frog Long Thought Extinct Rediscovered In Zimbabwe

Posted: Feb 5 2017, 11:14pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 5 2017, 11:20pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Tiny Frog Long Thought Extinct Rediscovered in Zimbabwe
'Cave squeaker has been found in Chimanimani, a mountainous area in eastern Zimbabwe. Credit: Francois Becke

Rare "cave squeaker" frog seen in its natural habitat for the first time in more than 50 years

A rare frog species thought to be extinct for more than fifty years has been rediscovered in Zimbabwe.

Last sighted in 1962, the “cave squeaker” frog was feared critically endangered and possibly extinct until its rediscovery by a local research team in December last year.

Robert Hopkins, a researcher at the natural history museum in Bulawayo city, has found four specimens of the frog in its natural habitat of Chimanimani, a mountainous region in the east of the country.

Cave squeaker, also known as Arthroleptis troglodytes, occupies the caves of eastern Zimbabwe. The frog is characterized by its irregular dark markings and slightly swollen toes and fingers. The average length of the species is just 2.5 centimeters.

The frog was originally discovered in 1960s but no sighting has been reported after that. The species has made its first appearance in its known habitat after more than half a century

The rediscovery of cave squeaker could possibly lead to its recovery as researchers are planning to breed the species and later release them in their habitat to expand their population.

“We are expecting an influx of scientists looking for it. We will do everything in our power to protect and conserve the frog,” Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokeswoman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said.

There are 7,500 amphibians in the world and cave squeaker is one of them.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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