This morning I thought I would bring up an item of interest—the discovery of a frog in Costa Rica that had been declared extinct. An article appeared in the Science section of the Fox News website on June 7. Here are a few highlights:
The Heredia robber frog, whose scientific name is Craugastor escoces, was spotted by Costa Rican biologists Gilbert Alvarado and Randall Jimenez in the Juan Castro Blanco National Park in Alajuela province…
…This species had not been observed since 1986. In 2004, the UICN declared this and two other amphibians extinct: the Holdridge’s toad, which is no longer in the extinct list either, and the Golden toad, which researchers believe to be the first victim of global warming.
As an enthusiast for cryptozoology (the study of hidden animals), it is always interesting when a species is taken off the extinction list. Many cryptids, I believe, are remnants of species thought to be extinct. The fact is, it is almost impossible to know if a species has gone extinct; it is equivalent to looking for a needle in a haystack. Many creatures claimed to be extinct are spotted by people on a regular basis. One such animal is the Tasmanian Tiger. Thought to have gone extinct in 1936, the Tasmanian Tiger is spotted with such regularity that many believe it is still alive. In my book Water Monsters South of the Border, I mentioned the Caribbean Monk Seal; fishermen were seeing these creatures well after they were declared extinct.