Follow for more talkers

Frogs thought to be extinct found in Ecuador

“I can’t tell you how special it is to hold something we never thought we’d see again."

Avatar photo


Black and yellow frog, rediscovered by scientists from Michigan State University. (Morley Read via SWNS)”

By Danny Halpin via SWNS

Ecologists have rediscovered 32 species of harlequin frogs in Ecuador that were thought to be extinct.

They said the rediscovery paints a brighter picture for the future of these frogs and for biodiversity in general but stressed the need for conservation action.

Doctoral student Kyle Jaynes of Michigan State University and lead author of the study said: “I can’t tell you how special it is to hold something we never thought we’d see again.

“We want people to walk away from this with a glimmer of hope that we can still address the problems of the biodiversity crisis.”

For 40 years a pathogenic fungus has been decimating amphibious populations around the world and has pushed many species to extinction.

Once a species is classified as extinct the chances of it coming back are slim.

That is why the researchers were so surprised to find the frogs surviving in the Ecuadorian jungle.

Mr. Jaynes said: “But rediscovery does not equal recovery. This story isn’t over for these frogs, and we’re not where we want to be in terms of conservation and protection. We still have a lot to learn and a lot to do.”

Assistant Professor Sarah Fitzpatrick, a collaborator on the project, said: “This study opens up a lot of other questions.

“For example, why are these frogs persisting? What we found points to the fact that there probably isn’t a single explanation.

“And now that we’ve described these frogs, how do we ensure their recovery?”

The team, who published their findings in the journal Biological Conservation, also included researchers from Ecuadorian universities and local indigenous communities who also treasure the frogs.

Asst Prof Fitzpatrick said: “We really want people to understand how important our partnerships are.

“We were invited into this work by our Ecuadorian colleagues. They’ve been working tirelessly on these challenges for decades. There are so many things that they bring to this work that make it possible.”

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers