Thursday, March 4, 2010

Australian Frog Back From The Dead

'Extinct' Aussie frog didn't croak after all

An Australian frog which disappeared nearly 40 years ago and was feared extinct has been rediscovered in a remote creek, astounding experts.

A state government scientist spotted an unusual species during a trip to New South Wales' Southern Tablelands, and later returned with a frog specialist to confirm the Yellow-Spotted Bell Frog's first sighting since 1973.

"This was definitely the most exciting moment of my career and I will be surprised if I repeat it," doctor David Hunter, who was led to a thriving community of the frogs by conservation officer Luke Pearce, said Thursday.

State environment minister Frank Sartor said the re-emergence of the green and gold amphibian showed the importance of protecting natural habitats.

"I'm advised that finding this frog is as significant a discovery as a Tasmanian tiger," he said, referring to an animal which is believed to have died out last century.

The frogs' location will be kept secret to ensure their survival, while the state government is in talks with Sydney's Taronga Zoo about setting up a captive breeding programme.

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