Newly-discovered zombie frog in Amazon rainforest could already be at risk of extinction – iNews

A new species of frog has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest but it may already be endangered due to deforestation.

The zombie frog was found by German herpetologist Raffael Ernst whom, upon hearing its unfamiliar croak, dug around in the mud until he found the orange-spotted, 1.5 inch amphibian.

The calls of the frog males can only be heard after or during heavy rains, he said in a press release published by Senckenberg natural history museum. He said the name zombie frog was chosen to reflect the eerie and muddy sight of the researchers after digging up the frogs.

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Dr Ernst spent two years in the Amazon rainforest in Guyana as part of his PhD investigating the loss of biodiversity at the hands of humans.

After discovering the zombie frog, he teamed up with international researchers to identify the animal.

The team described three different species all from the same genus Synapturanus, which can be found across the Guiana Shield region in South Americas northeast. They estimated there may be six times more species belonging to the genus that have not yet been unearthed.

Little is known about the zombie frog and its family due to its remote location. As exciting as it is for Dr Ersnt, the new discovery was somewhat bittersweet as amphibians are the most endangered vertebrate groups.

Dr Ernst told Deutsche Welle: Whenever we discover new species, we always have in mind that we are losing species at the same time, probably more than we discover, and before we even have the chance to describe them.

The Amazon rainforest is home to more than a thousand types of frogs with most known species coming from the region.

However, human activity such as mining, timber extraction, and logging and climate change is proving detrimental to the amphibian population who are highly sensitive to water quality and environmental degradation.

Because of this some 70 per cent of species are threatened with extinction, the newly-discovered zombie frog among them.

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Newly-discovered zombie frog in Amazon rainforest could already be at risk of extinction - iNews

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