6 new species of rain frog have been discovered in Ecuador

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Six new species of rain frog have been discovered on the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes, according to a statement from Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition.

The ministry said three researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and the National Biodiversity Institute made the discoveries in Ecuador’s Llanganates and Sangay National Parks, which protect the rich and ecologically diverse Amazonian forests found on the hillsides.

Professor Santiago Ron, one of the three researchers, told CNN on Wednesday that the discovery of six new frog species took four years.

“The discovery occurred during several expeditions to remote parts of the Amazon cloud forests in 2008, 2015 and 2017. After that, we analyzed the data and wrote the publication,” he said.

Frogs belong to the genus Pristimantis, which has more than 569 species that live from eastern Honduras and north to Panama, across the Andes to Bolivia, northern Argentina and Brazil, according to a study on the discovery published in the journal PeerJ. Unlike many frogs, they do not depend on bodies of water to breed, they lay their eggs on the ground.

Ron said one of the frogs was named “resistencia” (resistance) as a tribute to environmentalists who died defending nature in Latin America. “In the last 10 years, Latin America has been the most dangerous region for environmentalists,” he said.

Given the lack of information on the populations of these rain frogs, researchers have recommended assigning them to the Data Poor category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, a system for classifying species at high risk of extinction, the Ministry said. .

Ecuador has 669 species of amphibians, making it the third most diverse country in the world after Brazil and Colombia, said Ron.