“Extinct” Toad Rediscovered

A yellow-bellied dwarf toad, last sighted in 1876, is rediscovered in Sri Lanka.

By | June 21, 2012

Shamefullyso" > A road in Sri LankaFlickr, Shamefullyso

A road in Sri LankaFLICKR, SHAMEFULLYSO

First described in 1872 , the dwarf toad Adenomus kandianus was only observed once after its discovery, and then named extinct. But now, researchers from the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka reported their sighting of the species, according to a study published last week (June 15) in the journal Zootaxa.

The researchers spotted four toads in 2009 on rocks in a flowing stream in the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, reported ScienceNOW. After researchers collected one toad for analysis, they realized that it matched no other known toad, and could only be the long-lost Adenomus kandianus. On a second trip, the researchers discovered more than 100 toads in a 200-square-meter sampling area.

Although the toad will no longer be considered extinct, its low numbers will keep the toad on the endangered species list, especially because of the increased human encroachment into Sri Lankan wilderness. The country is known as a global amphibian hotspot, with 111 known species, but it also reports the highest percentage of amphibian extinctions, contributing 60 percent to global list of amphibian extinctions.

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