The Silent Valley tropical frog (Micrixalus thampii) was rediscovered in India’s Western Ghats after 30 years of being missing, by a researcher who just happened to look in a trash bin. Robin Moore, from Conservation International, was staying in a remote field station during a research trip and accidentally found the small frog in the container. Later an Indian research team found several in scattered leaves on a forest floor.
The station is located in the Silent Valley National Park (see video below). This park has over 900 species of flowering plants, 34 species of mammals, and over 700 insects. It is mountainous and forested, with at least 12 species of important trees. Also it is prime habitat for amphibians and snakes because of the rainfall, vegetation, streams and a river that runs through it: ‘The Silent Valley is virtually a botanist’s treasure-trove. The flora of the valley include about a 1000 species of flowering plants, 107 species of orchids, 100 ferns and fern allies, 200 liverworts, 75 lichens and about 200 algae.” (Source: Kerala.org)
Mr. Moore is part of CI’s efforts to find lost frogs around the planet, and was a team member for the project in India. The Western Ghats are a large forested and mountainous area, where many new species of frogs are discovered. The Zoological Survey of India, the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment are among the institutions collaborating in the frog research project. A huge number of amphibians around the world are threatened with extinction.
Image Credit: Conservation International