Researchers in Zimbabwe claim that they have found a very rare frog. For several decades about this zemnovodnye was nothing audible. Frogs Artholeptis troglodytes, also known as “cave tweeters”, was discovered in 1962, but after that no news of sightings of the elusive amphibians has not been received. In the International red list they are listed as “threatened of extinction”, although many believed that they need to give the status “extinct”.
Robert Hopkins, a researcher from the natural history Museum in Bulawayo, said that his team found 4 instances of frogs in their natural habitat — Chimanimani, a mountainous area in the East of Zimbabwe. The first male was able to find on December 3, after the researchers drew attention to new, previously unknown animal voice. After that, they found another male and two females. Hopkins said he was looking for the entrance to the cave inhabited by frogs, for 8 years.
“Alas, I was not with my team at the moment when they made a discovery. At the age of 75 to climb a mountain it’s too hard,” joked the scientist. Now the researchers plan to breed caught specimens in captivity, and then again to release the population in the highlands. Externally Artholeptis troglodytes is a small, light brown frog with dark spots.
Now authorities fear that the interest in this incredibly rare animal will lead to the fact that the crowd of scientists (and poachers) flood Chimanimani in search of other samples, which may cause a threat to wild populations of amphibians. Currently, about 16 samples exhibited in the British and other major museums. Caroline Washaya-Moyo, a representative of the administration Department of national parks & wildlife of Zimbabwe said that in order to protect the cave tweeters will develop a specific plan, and the access to the protected area will be limited to government services.