A new harlequin toad species was found during one of SOS field projects in Chocó / Colombia. “To find a new species is incredible - and very important”, says Robin Moore of Conservation International, project leader.
Conservation International leads the project together with its project partner Fundación ProAves who is implementing conservation work on the ground. Protecting and restoring key sites for globally threatened amphibians is the project`s main objective.
“To find a new species is incredible - and very important”, says project leader Robin Moore of Conservation International, “the harlequin toads have been one of the most vulnerable group of amphibians. Out of over 120 species of harlequin toad, only a handful of species have healthy surviving populations”.
The harlequin toads are so-called because typically their bright colors are reminiscent of the colorful costumes worn by performing harlequins. However, the newly found species is unusual because it is a deep brown/black color, with bright red eyes. It is the only harlequin toad with red eyes, and from this characteristic alone, it was obvious that it was a new species.
The SOS grant will be used to protect and manage this habitat, to build a resource center from where forest guards and researchers can be based, and to educate local communities and build a constituency for conservation.