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Rare frog thought to be extinct rediscovered in Mindanao

A pair of Filipino biologists has rediscovered in Mindanao a rare frog species that was thought to be extinct decades ago.

Guttman's stream frog (Pulchrana guttmani), first seen in  1993, was rediscovered by Kier Mitchel Pitogo and Aljohn Jay Saavedra in the forests of Mount Busa, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Guttman's stream frog is "an amphibian so rare, it was thought to be extinct for decades since it was first recorded," USAID said in a Facebook post.

In a paper published in Herpetological Notes, Pitogo and Saavedra said the Guttman's stream frog is possibly the rarest amphibian in the Philippines.

"Pulchrana guttmani is known only from its type locality (Mount Busa, Kiamba, Sarangani Province, Mindanao), and it has eluded biologists for more than two decades," the say in their paper.

"To date, P. guttmani has the most restricted geographic range of any Philippine ranid frogs and it is the only Philippine frog for which no known sightings of living individuals have been documented since its original discovery."

In the same Facebook post, USAID also shared that in Tawi-Tawi, also in Mindanao, a Filipino botanist, Shiella Mae Olimpos, found a new species of lipstick vine in the forests of Panglima Sugala

USAID said the new lipstick vine species was found while a team of botanist was doing survey as part of a field expedition to study Sulu hornbills.

USAID said it supported both field researchers through its program of assistance for graduate students, local experts, and conservation groups. —KBK, GMA News

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