A fascinating rediscovery has been made in Israel! The Hula painted frog, which hadn’t been seen in 60 years and which was declared extinct in 1996, has been rediscovered. In the 1950’s, the Hula Valley, which these frogs called home, was drained and, with that, scientists thought the species was lost forever.
In 2011, the first Hula painted frog was seen after 60 years of hiding. Since then, thirteen more have been found. What’s truly fascinating is not just that this frog isn’t extinct after all. The real fascination is that this frog is the only living member of a group (Latonia) which went extinct 15,000 years ago. It really is a living fossil!
I find this news very exciting, especially with the recent rate at which amphibians, specifically frogs, are disappearing. As amphibians with super permeable skin, frogs are very susceptible to environmental toxins and degradation and, for that reason, make great indicator species for the quality of the environment.