Columbia: 10 new amphibians species discovered in threatened forest

Scientists with Conservation International on Monday announced the
discovery of 10 new species in a what’s being referred to as a safe
haven for frogs located in the west of the country on the border with
Panama. The discovery of 10 amphibians, which are believed to be new
to science, was the result of a three-week survey of the area, the
group said. The region is, however, not immune to modern threats.
According to Conservation International, between 25 percent to 30
percent of the natural vegetation in the Darien area is currently
being deforested.

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The new species were discovered as part of a CI program aimed at
assessing the ecological health of a given area. Scientists identified
nearly 60 species of amphibians, 20 reptiles and 120 species of birds,
the group said in a prepared statement. The discoveries come as global
extinction rates continue to rise.

Experts with Conservation International argue that the discovery is particularly significant since amphibians serve as an accurate gauge of an area’s ecological health. Amphibians can act as an early warning sign of pollution such as acid rain due to their porous, absorbent skin. The sensitivity of these species to low level environmental threats can also act as a barometer for human health. Conservation International says the discovery offered renewed optimism.

“The high number of new amphibian
species found is a sign of hope, even with the serious threat of
extinction that this animal group faces in many other regions of the
country and the world, ” says Jose Vicente Rodriguez Mahecha,
Scientific Director of CI-Colombia, who was part of the team that
discovered the new species.

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Comments (1)

cartagena flightsMay 7th, 2009 at 9:28 am

Thank you for this article. I think it’s very important to raise awareness on the subject. I lived in Panama 1 year, often went to Colombia (mostly for shopping!), and that area of the planet is simply beautiful and full of life, vegetation and the animal life! Let’s keep it that way!

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