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Extinct Toad Rediscovered, Still on Brink of Extinction

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The Kandyan Dwarf toad has been out of this world for quite some time. The IUCN listed the toad as extinct since there had been no record of the species since 1872. At the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, the Kandyan Dwarf (Adenomus kandianus) toad was rediscovered and although the discovery is worth cheering about it should be noted that the species appears to be close to extinction.

L.J. Mendis Wickramasinghe, a naturalist with Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka, made the discovery with a group of scientists in October of 2009 during a survey of land-based amphibians in the sanctuary. He told mongabay.com, “During a nocturnal sampling session, about four specimens of an unusual species were observed, from the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary on the 23rd October 2009, which were sympatric with Adenomus dasi on rocks close to fast flowing streams where a single specimen was collected in order to taxonomically clarify its identity.”

In less scientific terms what Mendis was saying was that during a night-time sampling session four unusual species were observed which appeared to be a new species evolved from The Das’s dwarf toad (Adenomus dasi). One of the unusual species was collected in order to figure out what its identity was. Wickramasinghe wanted to know if it was a new species of The Das’s dwarf toad or something else.

It turned out that the toad was actually one that hadn’t been seen in Sri Lanka for over 133 years. It wasn’t a close relation to The Das’s dwarf toad but the Kandyan dwarf toad thought to be extinct. Sadly, the Kandyan dwarf toad appears to be on the brink of extinction.

Wickramasinghe said, “It’s most likely that this population will be categorized as a Critically Endangered population in future updates of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.”

Wickramasinghe seems to think that there is still hope for other species and hinted at the possibility of rediscovering other amphibians thought to be extinct.

“I must say there are several others that are yet to be updated and will be published in the near future,” he said.

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  • Herpsrock

    What he actually said was that there were four individuals of the (single) unusual species…not four unusual species. They collected one individual of the unusual species to identify the species.

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