‘Extinct’ Harlequin Toad Rediscovered; Such Survivors Are Bringing Hope That Amphibian Apocalypse is Abating
Atelopus mindoensis, the mindo harlequin toad unseen since the 1980s has been rediscovered in ecudaor, suggesting they may have overcome a chytrid epidemic.
Science & Tech
A researcher from New Brunswick has rediscovered a species of harlequin toad presumed extinct, and the details of the discovery offer hope not just for the species, but for the entire atelopus genus, which was nearly wiped out by the amphibian epidemic.
Caused by bacteria, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis has wreaked havoc on amphibians worldwide, with harlequin toads (atelopus) proving particularly susceptible.
However Canadian herpetologist Melissa Costales’s sighting of the Mindo harlequin toad (atelopus mindoensis) in Ecuador could mean the epidemic of chytrid may be subsiding; evidence supporting an already established and hopeful hypothesis.