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In Seach of Haiti's Lost Frogs

Juvenile Macaya breast-spot frog, one of the smallest frogs in the world. Robin Moore

Finally, some good news out of Haiti where researchers are reporting the discovery of six species of frogs that are on the edge of extinction.

The team was led by Conservation International scientist Robin Moore and Blair Hedges of Pennsylvania State University.

Moore's team left for Haiti last October with the hope of finding amphibian species not seen in more than a decade in Haiti's dwindling forests. Much of the island nation suffers from deforestation, which has left only 1% of its original forest cover.

Specifically, they set out in pursuit of the La Selle grass frog (Eleutherodactylus glanduliferoides), which has not been seen since 1985. Although that frog eluded them, the team nonetheless managed to find 23 of Haiti's 49 known native frog species - including six which hadn't been seen in 19 years.
  • A whistling frog named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name came about after an audiospectrogram of its call was found to resemble musical notes.
  • A "ventriloquist" frog that can project its voice to mislead predators.
  • A speckled frog with blue sapphire eyes.
  • A burrowing, black-eyed frog with big black eyes and orange patches on the legs.
  • A super-tiny frog - one of the smallest in the world - about the size of a grape.
  • A crowned frog that previously was reported to have been seen by just 10 individuals.
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