Lost Frog Species Rediscovered In Costa Rica

December 29, 2014

The South Pacific stream side frog (Craugastor taurus), which hasn’t been observed in the wild since 1997, has been rediscovered in Costa Rica, according to a study published in the  journal Tropical Conservation Science. What is also notable about the discovery is the fact that the species is persisting with a high prevalence of the chytrid fungus chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd).

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The scientists found two new populations of the frog in areas that had a drier environment than the previous range of the frog. Fifteen frogs were swabbed for chytrid and 12 of the 15 frogs tested positive for the fungus. The scientists cite the significance of their findings in that the frogs are surviving and living with a high prevalence of infection of the fungal disease in a drier environment. It is also the only known populations of the critically endangered species. 

While these locations are the only known areas in which the species is known, there are more than likely additional hidden populations not yet discovered.

"Continuous sampling within the historic range might result in the discovery of additional populations,” the study authors said. “We emphasis that much more fieldwork needs to be done in order to explain the uniqueness of these two extant populations.” 

The full report,  Rediscovery of the critically endangered streamside frog, Craugastor taurus (Craugastoridae), in Costa Rica can be downloaded on the open access journal Tropical Conservation Science website. 

John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 


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