Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

About 200 New Species Of Amphibians In Madagascar Discovered

Date:
May 5, 2009
Source:
CSIC- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
Summary:
Between 129 and 221 new species of frogs have been identified in Madagascar, practically doubling the currently known amphibian fauna. The finding suggests that the number of amphibian species in Madagascar, one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, has been significantly underestimated. According to the researchers, if these results are extrapolated at a global scale, the number of amphibian species worldwide could double.

Boophis aff elenae.
Credit: Miguel Vences

Between 129 and 221 new species of frogs have been identified in Madagascar, practically doubling the currently known amphibian fauna. The finding suggests that the number of amphibian species in Madagascar, one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, has been significantly underestimated. According to the researchers, if these results are extrapolated at a global scale, the number of amphibian species worldwide could double.

Related Articles


Their study, conducted with participation of the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC), is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

As Professor David R. Vieites, CSIC researcher at the Spanish National Natural Sciences Museum in Madrid, states: “the diversity of species in Madagascar is far from being known and there is still a lot of scientific research to be done. Our data suggest that the number of new species of amphibians not only has been underestimated but it is spatially widespread, even in well studied areas. For example, two of the most visited and studied National parks, Ranomafana and Mantadνa/Analamazaotra, harbour 31 and 10 new species respectively.”

Dr. Frank Glaw, curator of herpetology at the Zoologische Staatssammlung from Munich explains: ”During the past 15 years, we discovered and described over 100 new frog species from Madagascar, which led us to believe that our species inventory is almost complete. But as our new surveys show, there are many more species than we suspected.”

The paper suggests that the total biodiversity on the island could be much higher also in other groups, so the actual destruction of natural habitats may be affecting more species than previously thought. This is important for conservation planning, as the rate of destruction of rainforests in Madagascar has been one of the highest in the planet, with more than 80% of the historic surface of rainforest already lost.

“Although a lot of reserves and national parks have been created in Madagascar during the last decade, the actual situation of politic instability is allowing the cut of the forest within national parks, generating a lot of uncertainty about the future of the planned network of protected areas,” explains Vieites. Almost a quarter of the new species discovered have not been found yet in protected areas.

Biodiversity

The study proposes different criteria -- morphological, genetic and bioacoustic -- to assign the candidate species (the ones which have been identified as potential new species but not yet formerly described) to different categories. In Madagascar, the number of candidate species is higher than the number of described species in some genera.

“Using these criteria and the integration of different techniques under the principle of congruence could help to boost the inventory and the process of species description worldwide,” explains Vieites. Dr. Miguel Vences, professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig adds: "People think that we know which plant and animal species live on this planet. But the century of discoveries has only just begun – the majority of life forms on Earth is still awaiting scientific recognition."

Also participating in the study were researchers from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Museo regionale di Scienze Naturali from Torino, and the Hessisches Landesmuseum from Darmstadt.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and one of the most biodiverse areas globally, with a high degree of endemic species. “To get an idea of its biodiversity, while in the Iberian Peninsula are about 30 species of amphibians and in Germany about 20, in a single locality in Madagascar we can find ca. 100 species of frogs,” explains Vieites.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIC- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vieites et al. Vast underestimation of Madagascar's biodiversity evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810821106

Cite This Page:

CSIC- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. "About 200 New Species Of Amphibians In Madagascar Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505061942.htm>.
CSIC- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. (2009, May 5). About 200 New Species Of Amphibians In Madagascar Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505061942.htm
CSIC- Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas. "About 200 New Species Of Amphibians In Madagascar Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505061942.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) — A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins