Environment

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Zoo Atlanta/AP
Glass frog

Several New Species Found in Colombia

February 03, 2009 11:05 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Scientists have discovered 10 new amphibians, including an orange rain frog, three poisonous frogs, and three varieties of “glass frog” with transparent skin.

Expedition yields discovery of new amphibian species

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The discoveries were made during a three-week journey to the mountainous Tacarcuna area of the Darien, near the border with Panama, by researchers from Conservation International and Ecotropica Foundation.

According to a CI survey, their findings overall included 60 types of amphibians, 20 reptiles and 120 bird species, including the harlequin frog, a salamander, a snake that has yet to be identified, and a small lizard.

Scientists also found several Central American creatures that were recorded for the first time in the region, including the Bolitoglossa taylori salamander, and the Pristimantis pirrensis rain frog.

"Without a doubt, this region is a true Noah's Ark. The high number of new amphibian species is a sign of hope, even with the serious threat of extinction that this animal group faces in many other regions of the country and the world," said Jose Vicente Rodriguez-Mahecha, scientific director of Conservation International Colombia.

Background: “Google Earth Leads Scientists to New Species in Mozambique”

Last year, conservationists discovered a treasure trove of biodiversity in previously uncharted territory in the southern African nation of Mozambique using the Internet mapping tool.

A British expedition of scientists to a mountainous forest called Mount Mabu found that the area is home to hundreds of plant species, birds, butterflies and monkeys.

The 27-square-mile forest was being called a “Lost World” and a “hidden paradise,” filled to the brim with exotic plants, insects, and animals including three new species of Lepidoptera butterly and a new member of the poisonous Gaboon viper family of snakes.

The phenomenal diversity is just mind-boggling: seeing how things are adapted to little niches, to me this is the incredible thing,” said Kew expedition leader Jonathan Timberlake, according to Mongabay. “Even today we cannot say we know all the world’s key areas for biodiversity—there are still new ones to discover.”

The Greater Mekong River region in Southeast Asia was also recently found to be home to more than 1,068 new species, including a hot-pink dragon millipede and the Laotian rock rat. The World Wildlife Fund says in a new report that recent finds include 519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, four birds, four turtles, two salamanders, a toad and thousands of new invertebrates.

Researchers now say that the Greater Mekong area, which includes Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan, is among the most biodiverse places on the Earth.

While concerns about extinction and endangerment continue to dampen the spirits of wildlife researchers, several new species have been discovered in recent months, including a new species of snake called “Leptotyphlops carlae” in Barbados, a new type of fungus and a new species of dolphin.
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