Conservation International researchers had re-discovered the Sambas stream toad (aka Borneo rainbow toad). It was last seen in the early 1920s, there was not much information about it. CI had placed the MIA toad on their list of top ten most-wanted frogs. Their researchers have been searching for the very rare amphibians to find out if they still exist in the wild. Very fortunately they met with success and found some in area of Western Sarawak on night searches at elevation. They wound up finding a total of three of the tiny creatures. So they now have found two of the ten most wanted frogs. A CI official said, “It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope, especially amidst our planet’s escalating extinction crisis.” (Source: CI)
It isn’t clear how stable the population is, but with such a small number found things don’t appear to be so promising. The site of the rediscovery has not been disclosed to prevent poachers from stealing the brightly colored toads to sell in the pet trade. The critically Endangered Rio Pescado stubfoot toad (Atelopus balios), of Ecuador is the other amphibian CI has found during their quest to find the ten lost species.
The remaining missing species are:
- Golden toad (Incilius periglenes) Costa Rica – last seen in 1989
- Gastric brooding frog (Rheobatrachus vitellinus and R. silus) Australia – last seen in 1985
- Mesopotamia Beaked Toad (Rhinella rostrata) Colombia – last seen in 1914
- Jackson’s climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa jacksoni) Guatemala – last seen in 1975
- African Painted Frog (Callixalus pictus) Dem. Republic of Congo/Rwanda – last seen in 1950
- Turkestanian salamander (Hynobius turkestanicus) Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan/Uzbekistan – last seen in 1909
- Scarlet frog (Atelopus sorianoi) Venezuela – last seen in 1990
- Hula painted frog (Discoglossus nigriventer) Israel – last seen in 1955 Also, amphibians around the world are threatened by the chytrid fungus. A number of species have already been killed off by it.
Image Credit: Indraneil Das/Conservation International