More Than 200 New Frogs Discovered in Madagascar: Amphibian Species Doubled

madagascar frog photo

photo: Frank Wouters

Political instability may be in Madagascar, but a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science says that somewhere between 129 and 221 new species of frogs have just been identified. That doubles the known amphibian species on the island, and further shows how much of a biodiversity hotspot Madagascar is. Mother Jones sums it up:

In the 15 years prior to these findings, researchers had discovered and described over 100 new frog species from Madagascar and believed their species inventory to be nearly complete.

But the new surveys show far more species than suspected. The results come from DNA sequencing of 2,850 specimens of amphibians at 170 sites. The data don't show suggest more individual amphibians living in Madagascar—only more species diversity. Which means the new species are likely fragile and less populous.

What's more is that of these newly discovered frog species, about 25% of them were discovered in areas not protected as reserve or national park—that's in a country which has lost about 80% of its rainforests.

via: Mother Jones
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