Five Lost Frogs Rediscovered
Image Credit © SD Biju - Chalazodes Bubble-nest Frog
Lost! Amphibians of India aims to rediscover 50 species of Indian amphibians that are considered to be actually, or potentially, extinct in the wild. These are the so-called 'lost' species. Launched in December 2010, it is an ambitious campaign led by the University of Delhi in conjunction with the IUCN and Conservation International.
India has 321 species of amphibian - a remarkably high amphibian diversity. However, 13 per cent of India's amphibian species have disappeared, making India is the country with the most lost amphibian species in the world.
What's so important about amphibians?
Amphibians are the most threatened group of species on our planet. Threatened by habitat loss, climate change and deadly chytrid fungus, amphibians are indicator species for the health of an ecosystem. Where amphibians are declining, the ecosystem is falling into disarray. Now, a staggering one in three amphibian species are at risk of extinction. Indian amphibians face a high risk of extinction from habitat loss: protecting these species is vital.
Lost! Amphibians of India: good news!
It's not all doom and gloom for India's amphibians. In February 2011, just three months after the Lost! Amphibians of India campaign was launched, five species of frog were rediscovered.
Where's the last place you'd expect to find a rare frog? Inside a rubbish bin. That's exactly where the Silent Valley tropical frog was rediscovered! Robin Moore, Amphibian Conservation Officer with Conservation International, describes the amazing find on the ARKive blog: ''the last thing I expected to find in a rubbish bin in the Western Ghats of India was something last seen the year 'The Empire Strikes Back' hit the big screen. Yet, as I slowly lifted the lid covering a small plastic bin in the kitchen of our retreat, I'm not sure who was more surprised: me or the frog that started bouncing from wall to wall like a pinball''.
It's a fantastic story, and an auspicious start to the campaign. Let's hope the next few months bring more success stories for Lost! Amphibians of India.
To find out more about the campaign and the five frog species rediscovered, visit Lost! Amphibians of India.