Environment

New rainfrog species discovered in Panama, named in honor of environmental activist Greta Thunberg

Pristimantis gretathunbergae. Credit: Pensoft Publishers

In 2018, the Rainforest Trust celebrated its 30th anniversary by hosting an auction displaying naming rights for some new species in science. The money raised at the auction benefited from the conservation of the newly recognized species. It is estimated that about 100 new species are discovered each year.


The scientific article describing and formally naming the new species, Pristimantis gretathunbergae, was published in the scientific journal ZooKeys of Pensoft.

The international team that discovered the new rain frog was led by Abel Batista, Ph.D. (Panama) and Konrad Meibert, Ph.D. (Switzerland). The two collaborated for 10 years in Panama and published eight scientific articles together and described 12 new species.

The team found the frog on Mount Chucante, a sky island surrounded by low-lying tropical rainforests in eastern Panama. Getting to its cloud forest habitat requires horseback access through muddy trails, hiking over steep slopes, past two decades-old crashed helicopters, and camping above 1,000 metres. Chucanti Reserve was established by the Panamanian conservation organization ADOPTA with support from the Rainforest Trust.

Greta Thunberg’s frog displays distinctive black eyes – unique to the Central American frog. Its closest relatives inhabit northwest Colombia. Unfortunately, the remaining habitat for the frog is severely fragmented and severely threatened by rapid deforestation of farms and pastures. The Chucanti Reserve where the frog was first found is part of a growing network of nature parks and reserves supported by the government of Panama.

  • A new species of rain frog has been discovered in Panama, named in honor of environmental activist Greta Thunberg

    Pristimantis gretathunbergae. Credit: Pensoft Publishers

  • A new species of rain frog has been discovered in Panama, named in honor of environmental activist Greta Thunberg

    Pristimantis gretathunbergae. Credit: Pensoft Publishers

The Rainforest Trust auction winner wanted to name the frog in honor of Greta Thunberg and her work highlighting the urgency of preventing climate change. Her “School Strike for Climate” outside the Swedish Parliament has inspired students around the world to carry out similar strikes called Fridays for Future. She has impressed world leaders and her work is attracting others to work on climate.

The plight of Greta Thunberg’s frog is closely related to a warming climate, with rising temperatures destroying its tiny mountain habitat. The Mount Chucanti area has already lost more than 30% of its forest cover over the past 10 years. The deadly Chytrid fungus poses additional threats to its amphibians. Maintaining the remaining habitat is critical to ensuring the frog’s survival. Important work in Panama by ADOPTA and the Rainforest Trust globally to protect the rainforest is critical to the survival of this frog and many other endangered species.


New frog species ‘jump’ into protection


more information:
Konrad Mibert et al., a new frog of the genus Pristimantis (Anura, Brachycephaloidea) from central and eastern Panama, ZooKeys (2022). DOI: 10.3897 / zookeys.1081.63009

Provided by Pensoft Publishers

the quote: New species of rainfrog discovered in Panama, in honor of environmental activist Greta Thunberg (2022, Jan. 11), retrieved Jan. 11, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-rainfrog-species-panama -honor-environmental .programming language

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