September 22nd, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Scientists discover amphibian species thought to be extinct

The Omaniundu reed frog hadn’t been observed since 1979

Three species of amphibians thought to be extinct for decades have been rediscovered, scientists announced Wednesday.

The three are the cave splayfoot salamander from Mexico, the Mount Nimba reed frog from the Ivory Coast and the Omaniundu reed frog from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The three were found as part of an effort by Conservation International and the Amphibious Specialty Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature to determine if 100 “lost” amphibian species are really extinct.

"These are fantastic finds and could have important implications for people as well as for amphibians,” said Robin Moore, who organized the Search for the Lost Frogs, the official name of the campaign. The creatures could help in medical research or just in protecting water resources, Moore said.

Several specimens of the salamander, of which only a lone individual was identified in 1941, were found in a system of caves accessible only by a pothole in Mexico’s Hidalgo province, Conservation International said.

The Mount Nimba reed frog, found by a local scientist in a swampy field near Ivory Coast’s border with Liberia, hadn’t been seen since 1967.

The Omaniundu reed frog hadn’t been observed since 1979. It was spotted in a flooded forest next to a Congo River tributary.

The first phase of the lost frogs project continues until next month when the Convention on Biological Diversity opens in Japan. Scientists hope they’ll have more successes to announce then, but Moore said it’s a tall task.

“These rediscovered animals are the lucky ones – many other species we have been looking for have probably gone for good," he said.

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soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. ChrisMeece

    "The creatures could help in medical research or just in protecting water resources, "

    Protecting water resources? This is code for totally obliterating any use of the areas by our species and confiscating privately owned lands. At least he is owning up to it.

    I say gig those things, cut off their legs, and deep fry them.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. burroughs

    It's up to you whether you will be disrespectful of scientists and all their work. But the way I see it, we should not blame our bleak future on science. Scientists discover and invent things which are available for us to use and it is all down to us how we choose to use them. Nuclear power, for instance, can be an invaluable asset but, on the other hand, it has the capacity to destroy the world if someone evil takes advantage of it. The same applies to genetic engineering – it could cure disease but it could also cause disease. And besides, all of you, who cast dirt at scientists, use the products of their lifelong efforts on a daily basis- automobiles, computers, television, electricity etc. So your obloquy sounds preposterous and unjustified. Not to mention that the bulk of all those foul-mouthed folk have never ever read a book and cannot perform simple mathematical operations without recourse to calculators. So, please, show some respect to those who are superior to you.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wilson

      Since when are scientists superior to everyone else? I got a masters degree at a leading uni among scientists and they were the most useless lot at the whole school

      September 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • amanda

      @Wilson,

      Burroughs didn't say scientists were superior to everyone else. He said "show some respect to those who are superior to you". He is simply asking you to recognize when someone IS superior to you in a particular field, and show some respect. Geez, why do you people see everything as a personal attack?

      September 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 'tis me man

    lalalalalalalala

    September 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill W

    While one group of scientist are working to protect endangered animals and the environment, other scientist are developing chemicals, ways to alter food, smart bombs and other inventions that will be used to destroy the environment.

    Its great that these defenceless animals are still alive but what is being done to keep the environment in intact so that they can continue to survive? Probably nothing. Humans will consume what ever it is they need to survive and will consume until nothing is left. It is about survival. When nothing is left to consume and a species cannot survive, that species will go extinct like the frogs.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Punk

    dam u alll

    September 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lost Human Being

    Very important find but people always find it "i don't care".

    Any resolution on that matter?

    September 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sagey

    Aww poor frogies

    September 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hello

    GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dr. Wiison

    These frogs haven't been seen since the late 60's!!!!! All the text books state that they are extinct, it would be wise to just kill the few remaining ones, instead of having to change all those text books!!??? $$$$

    September 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jjj

    when did they find these frogs

    September 22, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip Lenos

      try reading it

      September 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jackie

    You gotta pretty dumb to kill a already endangered species for research about it, and then it dies and you did it for nothing.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Irene

    what happened to my earlier comment? testing ...

    September 23, 2010 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Stephen Hawking knows more than you

    If people would simply accept Stephen Hawking as world leader, we wouldn't be in such a mess.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • God

      I would nominate Sister Wendy over Stephen Hawking to be world leader, if my suggestions mean anything.
      Trust me on this one.
      Stephen can be her equerry; he can lhot-rod up his wheelchair and pull Sister Wendy's popemobile
      (for want of a better vehicle name) during parades. Now that would be symbolic, and I bet he would do
      it in a heartbeat.

      September 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Codifex Maximus

    Bless the frogs. They protect us from flies and mosquitoes.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • God

      Done and done. Consider them (and yourselves) blessed.
      Of course you realize I also gotta bless the flies and mosquitoes as well, otherwise it just wouldn't be fair.
      But being blessed won't keep them off the frog's menu.

      September 25, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. richard

    you're not a idiot

    September 23, 2010 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
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