A rare breed of frog that has eluded scientists for decades has been found in Zimbabwe.
The Cave Squeaker frog hasn’t been sighted on record since 1962.
Also known as the Arthroleptis troglodytes, the frog, which lives mostly in damp, hidden crevices, was discovered in the early 1960s, but was never seen again after the initial recording. For many years it existed on the critical red list and was believed by many to be extinct.
Robert Hopkins, a researcher at the natural history museum in Bulawayo and his team of 4, first found a male on December 3rd after ‘following an animal call that they had not heard before.’
“I was not with my team when they were found. I was at the base. I can no longer climb the mountains as I am 75,” Hopkins said.
According to The Guardian:
Researchers plan to breed more of the frogs and then reintroduce them to the mountain summit. The frog is tiny and light-brown with dark spots.
Authorities fear for the frogs’ security, especially from “the scientific world” whose huge interest could result in the frogs being captured and illegally exported. Hopkins said 16 specimens are on display at various museums, including the British Museum.
Caroline Washaya-Moyo, spokeswoman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority added; “We are expecting an influx of scientists looking for it. We will do everything in our power to protect and conserve the frog.”
She said a park management plan will be devised to protect the cave squeaker.