Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rare Tree Frog Declared Extinct

'Toughie' the tree frog held captive in Atlanta's Botanical Garden was found dead in his enclosure last month. He was the last Rabbs' fringed tree frog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum) to die of two captive males; the species is now believed to be extinct. You can hear Toughie's last mating call here. This species of amphibian succumbed to a plague of chytrus fungus that has wiped out frogs in central Panama's cloud forests. Its web feet helped it to glide between tree trunks in the forest. Five frogs were captured by conservationists in the hope of starting a captive breeding program. Those hopes were disappointed when none of the frogs mated. The last female died in 2009. The frog was first identified in 2005 and formally described and named after conservationists George and Mary Rabb. It is still possible that Rabbs' lives on deep in the rain forests, but no calls have been heard in known locations since 2007. Toughie was estimated to be about twelve years old when he died. The botanical garden said their frog guest would be missed by staff and visitors.