14 July 2011
Lost Rainbow Toad is rediscovered
A colourful, spindly-legged toad that was believed to be extinct has been
rediscovered in the forests of Borneo.
Prior to this sighting, the toad was last spotted in 1924
Scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) found three of the missing
long-legged Borneo rainbow toads up a tree during a night time search.
The team had spent months scouring remote mountain forests for the
Prior to these images, only illustrations of the toad had existed.
These were drawn from specimens that were collected by European explorers in the
Conservation International, which launched its Global Search for Lost Amphibians
in 2010, had listed the toad as one of the "world's top 10 most wanted frogs".
Dr Indraneil Das led a team that searched the ridges of the Gunung Penrissen range
of Western Sarawak, a boundary between Malaysia's Sarawak State and Indonesia's Kalimantan Barat
After several months of night-long expeditions, one of Dr Das's graduate students
eventually spotted a small toad in the high branches of a tree.
"Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad, and the critical importance of
amphibians to healthy ecosystems, are what fuel us to keep searching for lost species," said Dr Das.
Dr Robin Moore of Conservation International, who launched the Global Search for
Lost Amphibians, was delighted by the discovery.
He said: "To see the first pictures of a species that has been lost for almost 90
years defies belief.
"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.
"Amphibians are at the forefront of this tragedy, so I hope that these unique
species serve as flagships for conservation, inspiring pride and hope by Malaysians and people
Source: BBC Nature News