.

.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Colombian Frog Believed Extinct Found Alive

Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America.
From the Conservation International press release:

The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin.

The painted frog is one of 110 species of a diverse group of neo-tropical amphibians that live mostly in Colombia. The country’s amphibian population is considered among the most diverse on Earth and key in the conservation efforts to protect amphibian species worldwide. So far, 42 of the 113 species of Atelopus found in the Tropical Andes Hotspot that includes parts of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela have experienced population declines of up to 50 percent.