This bejeweled toad, feared extinct since 1924, appears to us once more!
According to Discovery News, the endangered spindly-legged Sambas Stream Toad, a.k.a. Bornean Rainbow Toad (Ansonia latidisca) was last seen 87 years ago in 1924.
“Prior to this recent sighting, only illustrations of the mysterious, long-legged toad existed, after collection by European explorers in the 1920s. Because of this, scientists believed that chances of finding the species alive were nearly impossible and it was listed as one of the “World’s Top 10 Most Wanted Lost Frogs.”
The toad was found in the remote Gunung Penrissen mountains of Western Sarawak, which form a natural boundary between Malaysia’s Sarawak State and Indonesia’s Kalimantan Barat Province on the island of Borneo. The value of such wild corridors should not be underestimated. If not for the place, this toad (and who knows how many other species?) would likely never have been seen again. And amphibians are critically important to healthy ecosystems.
Dr. Indraneil Das of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, touched to find this toad once more, reminds us, “Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad… remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering.” Then, lest listeners discount the find as trivial, this scientist, no doubt thinking about the incredibly enmeshed interdependency of this planet’s natural systems, added: “Their benefits to people should not be underestimated.”
(Thanks to Jamie K. Reaser for bringing this to my attention.)