Researchers from the Natural History Museum in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe have discovered the Arthroleptis troglodytes, a rare frog otherwise known as the “cave squeaker frog” in the Chimanimani Mountains of Zimbabwe 54 years after it was first discovered in the same location.
That frog, Artholeptis troglodytes, or, as it’s known to the dumbed down masses, the “Cave squeaker,” had not been seen since it was discovered in 1962. Subsequently it was put on an “international red list” which is reserved for species that are critically endangered or possibly extinct.
According to the Associated Press, Robert Hopkins, a researcher in one of Zimbabwe’s largest cities, said he and his team located a handful of specimens of the “cave squeaker” in a mountainous area known to be their habitat. After his team followed an animal call that they had never heard before, they came across three male frogs and a female frog. Unfortunately Hopkins, who had spent the last eight years of his life looking for the damn thing, had to wait as he was too old to be climbing mountains. “I was not with my team when they were found,” he told the AP. “I was at the base. I can no longer climb the mountains as I am 75.”
Now that they’ve finally found the frogs, researchers are going to do that thing they do where they make them procreate to re-populate the species. After that they plan on re-introducing them to the wild by returning them to their mountain home.
Still, while this would seem to be a good thing, authorities believe that the discovery will lead to an influx of interest from “the scientific world” that will end up with them being illegally exported. After all, according to Hopkins, 16 specimens have already been put on display at museums throughout the globe. A spokeswomen for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Caroline Washaya-Moyo, says that they will come up with a plan to protect the frog.
Conservationists of the world, we guess it’s time to do your thing.