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.

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 October 23, 2014 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) 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