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See-through frog, ugly salamander found in Ecuador expedition

Conservation International has announced the discovery of 12 animal species -- four amphibians, seven insects and one lizard -- believed to be new to science.  The species were found during a survey of the Upper Nangaritza River Basin in southeastern Ecuador and include a bug-eyed salamander that's been termed simply "the ugly salamander," a poison arrow frog, and an insect intriguingly named the white-faced gnome katydid.

The survey, conducted by Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program, also found a species of see-through frog called Nymphagus chancas; the see-through frog had previously been known to live only in one area of northeastern Peru.

"The species that we discovered on this expedition are fascinating and make clear how biologically important this area is -- not only because of the wealth of plants and animals that inhabit it but also because of the service that it provides to local people, like clean water and the opportunities for income from ecotourism," said Leeanne Alonso, vice president of the Rapid Assessment Program.  "It is crucial that it is protected properly."  Conservation International says it hopes the new discoveries will influence the Ecuadorian government to take new steps to protect the region's unique plant and animal populations.

For more information on the species found during the survey, check out Conservation International on the Web.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: National Geographic

 
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