A new species of frog has been discovered by S.D. Biju of Delhi University, Franky Bossuyt, Yogesh Shouche, Alain Dubois, and S. Dutta. It lives in a very small area at the summit of Anamudi, which is the highest peak in India’s Western Ghats mountain range. (Anamundi, which means elephant’s forehead, has an elevation of over 8,800 feet.)
The species was noted for having many glands, and short limbs. Its scientific name is Raorchestes resplendens. The first name is an homage to Professor Rao for his contributions to the study of amphibians in India. A female was found with eggs buried deeply in bamboo clumps. Later some of the eggs were observed hatching in a lab. Because the species is limited to such a small range, there is an immediate need for a conservation strategy. Ironically, some species are discovered for the first time, and yet are already near extinction due to various factors such as climate change.
Researchers Biju and Bossuyt have previously discovered new frog species in the Western Ghats, which is a rugged, lush region known for its biodiversity. Last year it was reported they had discovered twelve new species. Their discoveries are underscoring the need for conservation of the Western Ghats and its wildlife.
Image Credit: S.D. Biju