Dozen Frog Species Discovered in India’s Western Ghats


Photo courtesy S D Biju,

A dozen frogs new to science were discovered in the forests of Western Ghats, a 1,000-mile-long mountain range that runs the length of India, Delhi University announced today.

Amphibian researchers S D Biju of Delhi University’s Systematics Lab and Franky Bossuyt of the Amphibian Evolution Lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have published the discoveries in the latest issue of Zoological Journal of Linnean Society, London.

Their research paper describes the discovery of 12 new Philautus species of frogs and the “rediscovery” of a “lost species,” the Travancore bushfrog (Philautus travancoricus) considered extinct since it was last reported more than a 100 years back, according to a news release issued by Delhi University.


Photo courtesy S D Biju,

“This discovery further highlights the need to conserve species and their habitat in the Western Ghats,” the release said. “Forests here continue to be threatened and large areas are being destroyed for plantation and urbanization.

“The Western Ghats is home to a large number of endemic species that are not found outside the Ghats. Seemingly small disturbances in their habitat could wipe out several species. Once a species is lost, it cannot be brought back by any effort.”

Seven of the 12 new species were only found in unprotected areas which were forests some time back, the news statement continued. “Habitats are rapidly disappearing and immediate steps are required to protect the remaining forests from human activities like plantation and urbanization.

“Scientific conservation should replace thoughtless exploitation of natural resources.”

Related NatGeo News Watch entries:

Are Humans Now Eating Frogs to Extinction?

Frog With Green Blood, Turquoise Bones Found in Cambodia

Warming is Killing Yellowstone’s Amphibians, Researchers Find

Four out of Ten Amphibians in Decline, New Study Finds

Tree Frog Once Thought Lost Is Found

Researcher Licks Poison Frogs in Pursuit of Science (includes video)


Photo courtesy S D Biju,

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn