Years of combing tropical mountain forests have paid off for a team of Indian scientists that has discovered 12 new frog species, plus three others thought to have been extinct. The new species include the meowing night frog, whose croak sounds more like a cat's call; the jog night frog, unique in that both the males and females watch over the eggs; and the Wayanad night frog, which grows to about the size of a baseball. Three other species were rediscovered, including the Coorg night frog described 91 years ago but not seen since.
"We first have to find the species, know them and protect them, so that we can study them for their clinical importance," said the project's lead scientist, Sathyabhama Das Biju of the University of Delhi. Worldwide, 32% of the world's known amphibian species are threatened with extinction, largely because of habitat loss or pollution, according to the group Global Wildlife Conservation. "Frogs are extremely important indicators not just of climate change, but also pollutants in the environment," said Biju. (Read more frogs stories.)