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Extremely rare tree frog has now gone extinct

Posted on Monday, 3 October, 2016 | Comment icon 11 comments

The species was wiped out by a deadly fungus. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Brian Gratwicke
It's a sad day for conservationists as the last known Rabbs' tree frog has died in captivity in Atlanta.
Known as 'Toughie', the 12-year-old specimen had lived out its final days at Atlanta Botanical Garden and was the last known living Rabbs' tree frog in existence.

The species, which originates in Panama, was only identified in the wild for the first time in 2005, just two years before a deadly fungus had managed to completely wipe them all out.

Toughie, along with a second of his kin, were the only two specimens to have survived.

While both are now gone, some researchers are quietly optimistic that there may still be a small population of the frogs living somewhere deep in the forests of central Panama.

"The habits of this genus can make them extremely difficult to find if they remain high up in the trees," said Jonathan Kolby of the Honduras Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center.

"Being that this species breeds in tree cavities up in the canopy, I would hope that this behavior offers some protection from exposure to chytrid fungus, although the species was reported to have become much less common after the arrival of chytrid in the region."

Source: Scientific American | Comments (11)

Tags: Frog, Extinct

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year on 3 October, 2016, 14:48
They're still finding species that they didn't know existed and they make a claim that this species is now extinct. Well color me skeptical.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Dark_Grey on 3 October, 2016, 14:51
They are only extinct until someone finds another one.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Clair on 3 October, 2016, 15:41
Obviously they don't know for certain and are merely speculating at this stage. They stated there's a possibility there might be a small population of tree frogs still in existence, but given the difficulty in accessing their habitat, it's difficult to know for certain. So yeah, they will be extinct until when (and if) someone finds another one. At the same time, I understand why they would be saddened by the loss of the really cute little Toughie.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 3 October, 2016, 16:44
If these tree frogs were so rare, why weren't steps taken to get them to reproduce either naturally or with help?
Comment icon #6 Posted by T.I. on 3 October, 2016, 17:02
That's too bad.
Comment icon #7 Posted by jpjoe on 3 October, 2016, 17:47
All the answers to your questions are just one search away... smh
Comment icon #8 Posted by FateAmeniableToChange on 3 October, 2016, 19:19
id imagine that they are definitely not truly extinct, basically just the populations that the researchers knew of were wiped out, but obviously theyre extremely endangered, of course, i could be wrong
Comment icon #9 Posted by Lucas Cooper Merrin on 3 October, 2016, 21:11
I hope there is a little pocket of them surviving somewhere
Comment icon #10 Posted by Nzo on 4 October, 2016, 1:37
Let's hope there are a few left somewhere. When we find them we better hope that it's someone who has a brain and won't kill them to prove that they still exist.   Because scientists like this guy are extremely ignorant morons! Imho that man should be put in jail.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Not Your Huckleberry on 4 October, 2016, 10:58
Extinction is a technical term, but not literal as some seem to think. All the word means is that they haven't been documented by science over a certain period of time. Here's hoping these little cuties are still out there somewhere. I also have SOME hope that the amazing Golden Toad is still alive and well. 

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