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Amazing frogs – one found, and one you can help save..

In the media today is featured an amazing new species of frog –  a long-nosed tree frog. What an amazing little frog this is! Don’t you think it’s so cool that many new species are still being discovered. For those who have not already heard about it, check out the Telegraph’s story: Scientists discover frog with inflatable nose  

However, me thinks that this is just half the story to be told. It really is such a pity that some of the other amazing frogs we already know about are not featured more heavily in the media. One such frog is Archey’s Frog (pictured).  Archey’s frog, from New Zealand, is almost indistinguishable from the fossilised remains of frogs that lived 150 million years ago, which has led to it being described as a “living fossil”. One of the world’s most primitive frogs, it has bizarre features such as tail-wagging muscles (despite having no tail to wag) and no eardrums. It therefore does not communicate by sound, but is instead is thought to employ scent. The male guards the eggs in moist nests (see photo below) and the tailed froglets that hatch out crawl onto the father’s back where they remain for several weeks whilst they develop (see bottom picture).

Unfortunately, the New Zealand Government is now asking for public submissions about their proposal to remove some of  the conservation land where this Critically Endangered frog still survives – to open it up for mining (coal, gold iron ore and rare minerals:(  The areas to be mined include several long-term frog monitoring sites where the frog populations have been continually monitored for over 40 years – representing the best data on frog populations anywhere in the world.

These Critically Endangered frogs (losing  88% of their population since 1996) are just about managing to survive on the very brink of extinction. However, without the help of people interested in their survival they will surely disappear if their habitat is depleted. If this happens we will not only lose the frogs, but also a piece of evolutionary history.

If you would like to find out more about how these amazing little frogs will be affected (including maps of distribution and proposed areas to be mined) please click here:http://www.nzfrogs.org/

For more information about the mining in Coromandel, where the frogs live, please click here: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/saving-our-environment/threats-and-impacts-/mining-/mining-coromandel

If you care about these wonderful frogs please make a submission to the New Zealand Government by clicking here ….. http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/mining

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