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First Sighting of Bullock’s False Toad Since 2005

By on October 28, 2011 in Amphibians, News, Uncategorized

Trying to save one EDGE species was apparently not enough for former EDGE Fellow Claudio Soto-Azat. He has been working for a few years in conservation efforts to save Darwin’s frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) one of our top priority EDGE amphibians. But now he has made a major contribution to the conservation of a different species: Bullock’s false toad (Telmatobufo bullocki).

The critically endangered species was recently spotted at the Nahuelbuta Mountain Range by a collaborative research group from Andres Bello and Católica y de Concepción Universities and the Nahuelbuta Natural Organization.

Claudio and the research team found Bullock’s false toad-the 5th highest ranking EDGE amphibian- at a Darwin’s frog study site. The species has been sighted less than 10 times since it was discovered in 1952. This study site may very well represent the habitat of one of the last surviving populations of the species.

The research team also found evidence of other amphibians and mammals in a delicate conservation state as a result of agriculture impact on the area. What is more, the site may also host another two EDGE amphibians: the Nahuelbuta ground frog (Eupsophus nahuelbutensis) and the Contulmo ground frog (Eupsophus contulmoensis).

On the down side agriculture is not the only threat in the area,   it appears that there are plans for a hydroelectric project which would impact the Butamal River where the toads’ larvae develop as well as the forest where the adult toads live.

This habitat may be the last home of some of the most evolutionarily distinct amphibians in the world and before it is too late conservation studies and strategies for the conservation of Bullock’s false toad should really be addressed. Could this brilliant find benefit other conservation efforts for this diverse mountain range?

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