'Lost' Toad Spotted in Borneo

Bornean Rainbow Toad: 1, Extinction: 0
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2011 9:52 AM CDT
This photo, taken June 13, 2011 and released by Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, shows an adult female Bornean Rainbow Toad (Ansonia latidisca) in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.   (Indraneil Das)

(Newser) – Scientists scouring the mountains of Borneo spotted a toad species last seen in 1924 by European explorers, and have given the world the first photographs of the colorful creature. The Sambas stream toad, also known as the Bornean rainbow toad, had been on a world list of the "Top 10 Most Wanted Lost Frogs" and was feared to be extinct. But researchers found three of the slender-limbed toads living on trees during a night search last month in a remote mountainous region, says the expedition's leader.

Previously, only illustrations of the toads existed. The team decided to look for the toad last August, but months of searching proved fruitless until they went higher up the Penrissen mountain range, which has rarely been explored in the past century. Researchers declined to reveal the exact site of the discovery because of fears of illegal poaching due to strong demand for bright-hued amphibians. "It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope," says an amphibians specialist.

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