From The Hindu:

And here’s why this is so cool.

The devil that is chytrid just let one slip through its grips, it appears. (My, that sounded dramatic!) Litoria loricam, the Armoured Mist Frog, was feared extinct due to the fungus that is devastating amphibian populations. But a small colony has made a surprise reappearance in Northeast Australia. It’s hoped that examining the frogs may reveal properties that fend off chytrid. Story here. And please, James Cook University, put some shrimp on the barbie for professor Ross Alford, PhD student Robert Puschendorf,and the whole JCU Amphibian Disease Ecology Group for working so hard to made the discovery.

Here’s another de-xtinction from a while back.

AFP Rob Elliott

An amphibian crisis of a different sort: Looking a lot like a creature from the movie, Gremlins, the cane toad is in the process of invading East Timor, reportedly hitching a ride there with the Australian Defence Force which initially intervened there in 1999. This species is NOT among the 3,000 or so heading toward extinction. Excerpt from story:

 “Cane toads are fantastic hitchhikers; they love crawling up under machinery and stuff to refuge during the day…”

The cane toad is extremely unpopular in Australia and some residents of toad-infested areas have taken to killing them by driving their cars over them or smashing them with golf clubs and cricket bats.

All attempts to fight the spread of the toads so far have failed and the animals, which are explosive breeders, have spread into the wetlands of world heritage Kakadu National Park.

Australia Sun Herald photo

Elizabeth Donald, a Miss World finalist, is going where no beauty pageant star has ever gone (to our knowledge) — she’s made it her mission to protect endangered amphibian species. In particular, she’s campaigning to save the Southern Corroboree Frog, described as Australia’s most endangered and most spectacular frog.

And, it can’t jump.

So here’s to you, Ms. Donald. You are the ultimate frog princess!

Here’s the story in the Herald Sun. And, below is an excerpt from the Amphibian Research Centre Web site that’s getting her help.

“Around the world all kinds of events are being held to save frogs. In Europe they are having a princess kiss a frog but in Australia princesses are rarer than Corroboree Frogs!” says Gerry Marantelli, Manager of the Amphibian Research Centre, the world’s largest frog conservation centre. “There are less than 150 wild Corroboree Frogs left and without a huge leap in funds we just won’t be able to save them.”

That’s where Miss Communications Victoria and Miss World Australia Finalist Elizabeth Donald comes in. She has just become an official ambassador for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Project Corroboree – a program aimed to raise funds and save the Corroboree Frog. Elizabeth loves frogs and if she is crowned Miss World Australia on April 9th, the Corroboree Frog may just get what it needs – a kiss from Australia’s nearest thing to a real-life princess.

“I have always loved frogs and the environment”, says Elizabeth. “I caught tadpoles and frogs as a child but never realised that this was an experience future generations may not have. It’s so important to focus on frogs now. The intimate connection they share with water, drought, and climate change really helps people see the actual effects of these massive environmental issues.”

“I’m so thrilled to be named as an Ambassador for Project Corroboree and am looking forward to doing all I can to help these magnificent creatures. Our Miss World motto is ‘beauty with a purpose’ and I hope to use my work to help make everyone aware of how they can help frogs during International Year of The Frog”, Elizabeth says. “Kiss a frog – of course I will! Maybe I’ll turn into a frog princess.”

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