01 May 2013

There is a brand new way to search for information on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Launched today, a new section on The IUCN Red List website offers a simpler way to search for species and learn about the threats they face. Featuring more images than before, the sub-site makes The IUCN Red List information easily accessible to all wildlife enthusiasts.

More than a measure of the current extinction crisis, The IUCN Red List is also the starting point for conservation action. Up until now it has been largely tailored to scientists, and now thanks to the generous support from Rolex, we are very excited to announce the launch of the first phase development of the 
new IUCN List sub-site

04 April 2013

Turtle Conservation Fund Awards

The Turtle Conservation Fund (TFC) administers a turtle conservation and research grants program. Awards are granted to organizations or individuals for specific conservation or research projects dealing with highly endangered tortoises or freshwater turtles. Awards at the present time are approximately in the $2000 to $5000 range per project. 
To see the species of tortoises and freshwater turtles that have been prioritized by TCF to be considered for funding support, follow the TFC Link. Other species will be considered only if a strong case can be made that they are highly endangered. 

01 April 2013

Global Taxonomic Diversity of Living Reptiles

A recent paper published in PLOS investigates the patterns of reptile lineage taxonomic diversity both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy, based on a comprehensive dataset of all living reptile species described and considered valid since Linneaus until March 2012.

Reptile Database Reverses Courses, Places All Anoles Back Into Anolis

A recent post highlights recent changes in Anoles taxonomy (all Anoles going back to the genus Anolis, again!) Follow the saga in the link to Anole Annals

A new Website is available on the Orinoco cayman (Crocodylus intermedius). The objective of this site is to offer information on the natural history and other aspects of interest about the Orinoco cayman, an endangered species in critical danger of extinction that is distributed in the Orinoco lowlands of Colombia and Venezuela. The web is in Spanish and can be accessed at this link:

20 June 2012


A new species of dendrobatid frog has been described in the most recent issue of the journal Herpetotropicos.

Source: HERPETOTROPICOS Vol. 7(1-2):55-74

Abstract: In this paper we discuss the rediscovery of the types of Colostethus meridensis (= Aromobates meridensis), during long time believed to be lost, give a redescription of the holotype, and redescribe its sympatran Aromobates mayorgai, a taxon previously known only from the type specimens. In addition, we describe a new species from the mountains of Piñango, Merida State, in the Andes of Venezuela. The new species can be diagnosed from its closely resembling Aromobates meridensis by being a smaller frog, bearing conspicuous lateral dermal folds on toes, having the tympanum with paler coloration, larger dark brown dorsal spots, two irregular pale bands from upper eyelids to the level of shoulders, larger oblique pale inguinal band, throat and chest with inconspicuous spots made up of fine dark stippling that do not form well-defined spots; ventral surfaces of arms and thighs almost immaculate, tarsal fold evident, more extended foot web, tip of snout more acute, and metacarpal tubercle more pronounced.

[Spanish/Español] Resumen: E. La Marca y L.M. Otero López. “Redescubrimiento de los ejemplares tipo de Colostethus meridensis, con descripción de una nueva especie emparentada y redescripción de Aromobates mayorgai (Amphibia: Anura: Dendrobatidae)”. En este trabajo discutimos el redescubrimiento de los tipos de Colostethus meridensis (= Aromobates meridensis), que por mucho tiempo se creyó estaban perdidos, damos una redescripción de su holotipo, y redescribimos una especie simpátrica, Aromobates mayorgai, un taxón previamente conocido sólo por sus ejemplares tipo. Adicionalmente, describimos una especie nueva proveniente de las montañas de Piñango, Estado Mérida, en los Andes de Venezuela. La nueva especie puede ser diagnosticada de la muy parecida Aromobates meridensis por ser una rana más pequeña, con pliegues dérmicos a los lados de los dedos el pie, tímpano con coloración más clara, manchas dorsales pardo oscuras de mayor tamaño, dos bandas claras irregulares desde los párpados superiores hasta el nivel de los hombros, banda clara inguinal oblicua más larga, garganta y pecho con manchas inconspicuas conformadas por un fino punteado oscuro que no constituye manchas bien definidas; superficies ventrales de brazos y muslos casi inmaculadas, pliegue tarsiano evidente, membrana del pie con mayor extensión, punta de la nariz más aguda, y tubérculo metacarpiano más pronunciado.

04 June 2012


The tropical forests of Philippines still amaze us with new biological discoveries. A study aimed to generate inventories of the biological diversity in Leyton Province has revealed a high endemicity of plants and vertebrates. Among the 64 species of herpetofauna, two frogs turn out to be new to science.
Both wrinkled ground frogs belong to the genus Platymantis, with about 70 species known to occur, besides Philippines, only on Papua-New Guinea (Papua and Indonesia) and the islands of Admiralty, Bismarck, Fiji, Palau and Solomon. 
Read the complete note at: Flora and Fauna International.

03 June 2012


Leptodactylus fallax, a large frog inhabiting the Caribbean island of Montserrat, have declined by 80% and is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. 

Once an abundant species in the wild, it went to the brink of extinction mainly to human consumption (hence its common name of mountain chicken) and because of a deadly fungal infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.
A sotck of 50 frogs from an uninfected wild population was taken out of the island for ex-situ breeding purposes.  33 healthy offsprings born in captivity were released last January 2012 back into the island, and a field team have been tracking their movements.
Read the complete conservation news at the IUCN site.

22 May 2012


A new frog species from western Panama, recently discovered by a team of herpetologists from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, resulted in a weird discovery. When handled, the amphibian stains the fingers in bright yellow. The purpose of this dye is unknown.

The new species has been named Diasporus citrinobapheus, is a member of the family Eleutherodactylidae, well known because of the reproductive startegy of skipping the larval stage giving birth tiny froglets directly from eggs. The new especies is about 2 cm long, which makes it difficult to find.

Read more:

18 May 2012


Although formally described in 2005 (under the name Carbonemys cofrinii, in reference to the coal mine in Cerro Cerrejón, northern Colombia, where it was discovered) it was not until recently when the largest specimen (measuring 172 centimeters, or about 5 feet 7 inches, long) was found.
Reconstruction of Carbonemys preying upon a small crocodylomorph. (Credit: Artwork by Liz Bradford)

This giant lived five million years after the dinosaurs vanished, along with other large reptiles like giant boas and crocodiles. Scientists believe that a combination of fewer predators, larger habitat area, plentiful food supply, and climate changes, along other changes in the ecosystem, worked together to allow these giant species to survive. 
Read more at the ScienceDaily news report.

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