Aussies Find 'Extinct' Bell Frog

Amphibian was thought to be wiped out in 1970s by fungus
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2010 12:33 PM CST
Aussies Find 'Extinct' Bell Frog
A pair of Yellow-spotted Bell Frogs in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales state of Australia.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The yellow-spotted bell frog was thought to be wiped out in the 1970s when a deadly fungus invaded its native Australian habitat—until now. That’s right—the “extinct” species has been discovered in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, alive and well. “It was quite amazing,” a researcher tells the Sydney Morning Herald. “This frog was just waiting there to be found.”

Now that the discovery has been confirmed—perhaps 100 of the frogs are living on a stream in farmland—some tadpoles have been relocated to the Taronga Zoo to breed. “If it has a predisposition to being resistant to this fungus,” a government conservationist says, “that will afford it much greater protection when we start putting it elsewhere.” The environment minister is even more enthusiastic. “This is the equivalent of discovering the Tasmanian tiger, in terms of amphibians.” (Read more yellow-spotted bell frog stories.)

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