Lost Edge Amphibian Now Found!

Conservation International’s “Lost Frogs” campaign (see EDGE blog) has found the elusive Cave splayfoot salamander (Chiropterotriton mosaueri) during its hunt for the world’s Missing In Action amphibians!

The rediscovery was hailed today, meaning that this is the first time anyone has seen the cave-dwelling salamander since 1941…nearly 7 decades ago! This missing lungless salamander was located in the caves of Durango, Hidalgo by Dr. Sean Rovito.

Chiropterotriton mosaueri
Dr. Rovito was guided to the cave by members of the local community of Durango, who use this cave as a source of water.  Just before dusk, he lowered himself into the cave and soon spied the cave splayfoot salamander, followed by the bigfoot splayfoot salamander (Chiropterotriton magnipes) crawling upside down on the cave ceiling – another top 100 EDGE amphibian species that has only been recorded once by scientists in the last ten years.

Chiropterotriton magnipes
The cave splayfoot salamander is a crevice-dweller that seems to depend on humid caverns in pine-oak forest.  Factors such as agricultural expansion and wood extraction threaten the surrounding forest, which may have a vital role in maintaining the all-important humidity of these caves.  It was feared that both of these salamander species had disappeared due to the drying of their caves following the removal of forest.
Chiropterotriton mosaueri

Fortunately they are still very much among us and we hope their rediscovery will prompt conservation action to protect their habitat into the future.
Maintaining these caves and the surrounding forest is important both for local communities and biodiversity, ensuring the caves continue to provide a clean source of water and home of unique biodiversity for many generations to come.

If you want to learn more about the search for lost amphibian, please visit Conservation Internationals “Lost Frogs” campaign.

Comments

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Lost Edge Amphibian Now Found!'.

  1. Alisha said,

    on October 11th, 2010 at 4:31 am

    This is truely a remarkable rediscovery. However it is sad that the reminant populations of these species are only managing to survive in areas where there is little access by humans.
    This does highlight the stong need for habitat protection and hopefully these creatures can be a strong influence towards such an act. The human reliance on this area should hopefully assist the plight of the wildlife as well.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.