Newly discovered Tanzanian frog already facing extinction

first_imgCitations: Barratt, C. D., Lawson, L. P., Bittencourt-Silva, G. B., Doggart, N., Morgan-Brown, T., Nagel, P., & Loader, S. P. (2017). A new, narrowly distributed, and critically endangered species of spiny-throated reed frog (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from a highly threatened coastal forest reserve in Tanzania. Herpetological Journal, 27, 13-24.Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change.” Science 342 (15 November): 850–53. Data available on-line from:http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on March 02, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Amphibians, charcoal, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Frogs, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, New Species, Rainforests, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis The new frog was collected in 2001 from Ruvu South Forest Reserve in Tanzania, in habitat atypical for spiny reed frogs.The scientists who collected it couldn’t identify it in the field. Fourteen years later, they sequenced the frog’s DNA, which revealed that it was a species previously unknown to science.The new species is represented by just one museum specimen. Recent attempts to find more in Ruvu South Forest Reserve failed to turn up the sought-after frogs, leaving researchers worried the species is being wiped out by dramatic deforestation affecting the reserve and surrounding areas. You don’t have to travel far to discover a new species – just head to the natural history museum.At least that’s how Chris Barratt, a doctoral student at the University of Basel in Switzerland, discovered Hyperolius ruvuensis, the newest species to be named in the clad of so-called spiny-throated reed frogs. The species has been preserved in the Museum of Natural History in London for more than a decade, but was never properly examined and described, Barrett says. That is, until now.“It sat in the museum for 14 years before we took it out,” Barratt told Mongabay. “We were hoping it would still have DNA [needed for identification], and it did.”Barratt and his colleague had a hunch that the museum specimen of now-named H. ruvuensis – then listed as another species in the spiny-throated clad – was indeed a new frog. The unusual pattern of the frog’s spines was the first clue, which prompted Barratt to analyze specimen’s DNA and morphology. Published last month in the Herpetological Journal, his analysis revealed that the specimen is in fact a new species of spiny-throated reed frog, a clade of seven species named for what he describes as a “beard” of spines, which serve a purpose still unknown.The “new” species was collected more than 15 years ago in Ruvu South Forest Reserve, a small protected area just outside of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At the time, David Emmett – then a wildlife biologist with the NGO The Society for Environmental Exploration – was surveying the reserve.The newly discovered Ruvu spiny reed frog (Hyperolius ruvuensis)from Ruvu South Forest Reserve has never been photographed in the wild and is only known from museum specimens collected in 2001. Photo by Chris Barret“One evening I could hear this reed frog calling,” he told Mongabay. “And I remember thinking: ‘Well, that’s strange. They shouldn’t be here’.”That’s because reed frogs hadn’t been known to inhabit lowland, coastal forests – the very landscape that typified Ruvu South Forest Reserve. This piqued Emmett’s interest, so he waded into the reeds, where he found several frogs that he’d never seen before.Like any wildlife biologist would do, he turned to field guides for answers, he said.“Every time you find anything, you look at the books,” Emmett said. “Normally, you can identify something straight away, but when you’ve gone through to the last page of the book and the frog is still not there, you start to get excited.”He reached the last page, but still couldn’t find a match. Sensing a possible species discovery, he collected a few of the frogs and sent them off to London, where they would later be identified.Ruvu South Forest Reserve is an unusual place to discover a new species, the authors say. Indeed, scientists typically find new species in unexplored, intact, and isolated habitats – and none of these terms describe the reserve. According to Barratt, that’s part of what makes this discovery especially exciting.“This discovery shows us that even a small forest reserve right next to a busy city that’s been surveyed quite a lot can yield new species,” he said. “For me, that’s really exciting.”But it’s alarming as well, the researchers write. That’s because H. ruvuensis is likely “microendemic” to the reserve, meaning it’s found nowhere else on the planet, according to the study. In other words: if habitat in the reserve is wiped out, the species will be, too.And habitat loss is already well underway. Tree cover data from the University of Maryland reveals that more than 3,000 hectares – or 13 percent – of the reserve’s forests were cleared between 2000 and 2014. Research by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), a local NGO, points to fire and illegal charcoal production as the primary drivers.Around 13 percent of the tree cover in Ruvu South Forest Reserve was lost between 2001 and 2014. Currently, forests remain in around 66 percent of the reserve.Hyperolius ruvuensis hasn’t been seen in the wild since it was first found by Emmett’s team in 2001, despite recent attempts to track it down.But that doesn’t mean the species is extinct, the researchers say – more research is needed to make that determination. For now, the authors recommend that H. ruvuensis be classified as Critically Endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a category saved for species that are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, like the Sumatran orangutan.The future of H. ruvuensis – and other species in the reserve – relies on stronger enforcement of protected area laws, Barratt says. And it’s now or never, he adds.“There has to be something done in a way to mitigate people going into the forest and cutting a trees down,” he said. “It’s really at the stage now where it’s completely critical that they do something.”Emmett, now a Senior Vice President at Conservation International, agrees on the state of urgency.“To me this species being discovered and potentially disappearing is a rallying cry to the urgency of the need [for] better protected nature because we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone,” he said. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Allfemale Ghostbusters Heres why you can expect to see more femaleled blockbusters

first_imgTHIS SUMMER, STUDIOS have made several announcements about their intentions to flip genders in some popular franchises, including Ghostbusters and The Expendables, as well as focus on some new female-led comic book franchises.So, what exactly is going on? We’re on the case. Source: AP/Press Association Images Source: Hadley Freeman/Twitter Meanwhile, Warner Bros. have announced their intention to give Wonder Woman a spinoff, though they have failed to give a release date as of yet. The iconic character will be played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, who will reprise the role for the proposed franchise.But what about the old adage that female-led movies don’t perform well at the box office?It’s patently untrue.Last year, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire starring Jennifer Lawrence was the highest-grossing film at the US box office, with Frozen coming in third and Gravity coming in sixth. That’s three massively high-grossing films with female characters at the fore. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesAnd it’s to say nothing of this year where films like Maleficent, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Lucy and Tammy, which have all performed very well at the box office and all feature stars like Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa McCarthy and Shailene Woodley front and centre.Additionally, female audiences are coming out in their droves for comic book films: The Hollywood Reporter notes that 44% of the audience for Guardians of the Galaxy’s opening weekend was comprised of females.So studios are copping on then?Precisely.What do other people think of all this gender-bending?Well, Mike Fleming of Deadline asked, “Do we want an estrogen-powered Ghostbusters?” in a column penned shortly after the announcement arguing that it was a “classic guy comedy”.Flavorwire argued that the problem with a Ghostbusters reboot is not the gender-flipping, but rather that the time has passed.Finally, Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post contended that Hollywood’s objective shouldn’t be to meet gender quotas, but rather to produce a “broader range of stories”.Fair enough.Indeed.So what does this mean going forward?Provisionally, it’s good news. Studios are clearly beginning to recognise that there is a market for female-led commercial films and will likely start seeking out more projects with female characters to help even the playing field. (Projects like Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson may even become a reality.) Pretty much all I’ve done all weekend is write potential cast lists for @paulfeig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot.— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) August 4, 2014 Source: Bette Midler/Twitter Love the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters remake! Let me change the neckline of the jumpsuit and I’ll put the BUST back in Ghostbusters.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 6, 2014 And what’s all this about The Expendabelles and Thor?Well, The Expendabelles is happening. Sylvester Stallone and producer Avi Lerner confirmed as much at the London premiere of The Expendables 3. The film synopsis is as follows:When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out trying to penetrate the island lair of a deadly despot who has captured one of the world’s top nuclear scientists, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as the right man for the job and that this is a mission so impossible that only women can handle it. The only way in: some of the world’s deadliest female operatives must pose as high-class call-girls shipped in by private plane to satisfy a dictator – and instead save the scientist and the day.Female operatives posing as high-class call-girls to please a dictator? Hardly the most feminist premise in the world.Nonetheless, the film is set to start shooting next year and no cast has been confirmed as of yet. (Sly wants Sigourney Weaver, though.)center_img Great time at #SDCC this year! #WonderWoman #DCTrinityhttp://t.co/iPhukjD0F3 pic.twitter.com/JobeSzwfH4— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) July 26, 2014 Source: ZackSnyder/Twitter Hmm. And what about this Spiderman/Wonder Woman business?Sony recently announced its plans to launch a female superhero franchise in 2017 with the studio hoping to pluck a female heroine from the Spiderman universe to lead it. No word on who that character may be, but a script is currently being written by screenwriter Lisa Joy. What is going on?Basically, studios like Sony, Marvel, DC and Millenium Films have all made announcements over the past few months regarding some female-led franchises that they have in the pipeline.Millenium Films is developing a female-led spinoff of The Expendables called The Expendabelles and Sony is in talks to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.Sony is also currently working to develop a Spiderman spin-off featuring a female heroine, while Warner Bros./DC are reportedly planning a standalone wonder Woman film.Back up. An all-female Ghostbusters?Yes. The rumour surfaced a few weeks ago with Variety reporting that Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is in talks to reboot the franchise with actresses taking on the roles once played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd et al.Nothing has been confirmed, but it has generated much excitement. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesAs Guardians of the Galaxy star Zoe Saldana told The Hollywood Reporter:I want to see more women, period, in films and in art. Whether they’re kicking ass, handing ass, I don’t care — as long as more stories are told through the eyes of women. That way I can have an even share of options when I go to the movies instead of just watching male-driven films with male points of view.Well said.Here’s what will happen in Love/Hate season 5* >last_img read more

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