Long thought to be extinct, the Mount Nimba reed frog (Hyperolius nimbae) has been found in the swamps of West Africa’s CÃ´te d’Ivoire, conservationists announced yesterday. The frog is among the first three “lost” species rediscovered during an unprecedented global search for “extinct” amphibians launched August 10.
Missing for more than 40 years, the 1.3-inch-long (3.3-centimeter-long) frog species was rediscovered in a swampy field near the Liberia border.
The new projectâ€”led by Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Amphibian Specialist Groupâ€”will seek out a hundred allegedly extinct species but will focus mainly on ten species of high scientific and aesthetic value. (See pictures of the ten most wanted “extinct” amphibians.)
The effort comes amid a steady decline in worldwide amphibian species, in part due to freshwater habitat loss, and the usually fatal chytrid fungus. Nearly 30 percent of known amphibian species are threatened with extinction, according to Conservation International. (Read about vanishing amphibians in National Geographic magazine.)