30 novas espécies de rãs são descobertsa na floresta de Madagascar
30 new frogs discovered in Madagascan forestPotential amphibian gold mine discovered in a 2228 hectare fragment of Madagascan forest
April 2012. Betampona Nature Reserve of protects one of the last remaining relicts (about 2,228 ha) of low elevation rainforests in eastern Madagascar. Yet little research has been undertaken about the amphibian fauna of this rainforest. During 2004 and 2007, Betampona was surveyed over a total period of 102 days using three different techniques: Opportunistic searching, pitfall trapping and acoustic surveys.
The survey work confirmed the occurrence of 76 species of amphibian, of which 36 are currently candidate species (Candidate for listing as an endangered or threatened species) and about 30% were first considered as undescribed species. 24 of these species are potentially endemic to this low elevation eastern region.
Hugely important relic forest
Considering the relatively small area of the Betampona forest, and its narrow elevational range, 76 amphibian species represents an unusually high richness compared to other sites in Madagascar. Although the eastern region is now largely deforested, these results reveal the importance of this relict forest, which is protecting a diverse amphibian fauna that includes many potentially new and endemic species.
150 new species in last 10 years
The number of newly identified frog species during the last decade exceeds 150, most of them still undescribed, and some authors believe that the total number of amphibian species in Madagascar may reach more than 500.
Some of the frogs found during the study
Anuran species of RNI de Betampona:
- a Ptychadena mascareniensis,
- b Heterixalus madagascariensis,
- c Heterixalus punctatus,
- d Paradoxophyla palmata,
- e Scaphiophryne spinosa,
- f Rhombophryne coudreaui,
- g Plethodontohyla sp. aff. brevipes ,
- h Plethodontohyla notosticta,
- i Stumpffia sp.,
- j Stumpffia sp.
- k Stumpffia sp.
- l Stumpffia sp. aff. grandis,
- m Stumpffia sp. aff. tetradactyla
- n Platypelis grandis,
- o Platypelis sp. aff. cowani
- p Platypelis tuberifera,
- q Platypelis sp. aff. grandis
- r Platypelis sp. aff. cowani
- s Platypelis sp.
- t Platypelis sp. aff. tetra [Ca
- u Anodonthyla sp. aff. boulengeri
- v Anodonthyla boulengeri,
- w Aglyptodactylus madagascariensis,
- x Boophis tephraeomystax,
- y Boophis calcaratus.
All photos by Goncalo M. Rosa