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Reef Report for Thursday, September 18, 2008

'Extinct' Armored Mist Frog found alive in Queensland
Discovery is some rare good news about Australian Frog Species.

Scientists at James Cook University in Townsville announced recently that a population of Armored Mist Frogs has been discovered, this little-known species was thought to have gone extinct following the spread of Chytrid Fungus into Australia, and had not been seen by anyone in 20 years.

The population was discovered by Robert Puschendorf , a graduate student at James Cook University. © James Cook University Robert was on another research project on the Mt. Carbine Tablelands northwest of Cairns when he discovered the population of armored mist frogs.

Whatís surprising is that these frogs were found well outside of their known range, and in a much drier and warmer habitat (a eucalyptus forest) than their traditional home in high altitude tropical rainforests.

The population was healthy, despite having some Chytrid fungus. It is thought that this population may be able to live with the fungal infection because of the warmer climate; Chytrid fungus is most virulent in cooler temperatures.

The arrival of the fungus in Australia very quickly caused the extinction of 7 species of frogs in high altitude tropical rainforests in Queensland, as well as drastic declines in as many other species of frogs. Itís nice to see that this species somehow managed to avoid extinction.

Press Release, from James Cook University

Coverage of this story, from the Brisbane Courier Mail

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

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