Sathyabhama Das Biju, an Indian amphibian biologist, who teaches at the University of Delhi has been credited with more than a hundred discoveries in the field of amphibian research, including the latest 12 species he chronicled.
He and his team have spent their time either in the lab or combing tropical mountain forests, looking under rocks and waiting for croaks in the night. Finally, they have come out with new 12 frog species and another three that many other researchers thought were extinct.
With 32 percent of the world’s known amphibian species threatened with extinction, Global Wildlife Conservation warns that these are indications to utlimate danger to our environment and pollution.
“Frogs are extremely important indicators not just of climate change, but also pollutants in the environment,” says Biju.
Biju and his student researchers have listed the new species by description and genetics.
The 12 new species include the meowing night frog, whose croak sounds more like a cat’s call, the jog night frog, unique in that both the males and females watch over the eggs, and the Wayanad night frog, which grows to the size of a baseball or cricket ball.
Three other species — the Coorg night frog described 91 years ago, was rediscovered by his team.
In his latest publication in the international taxonomy journal Zootaxa — Biju brings the known number of frogs in India to 336, which he says was only half of the world’s species.
In addition, the elegant tropical frog species was rediscovered along the western coast and 11 more rediscoveries were “unexpected surprises,” according to Conservation International, which co-led the 2010 project with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Amphibian Specialist Group.