"Extinct" rainbow toad spotted after 87 years

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

This is something straight out of every scientist's sweetest dream. Yes, researchers recently found three living rainbow toads that were previously thought to be extinct in the jungles of Borneo.

Scientists from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) discovered the long-legged Borneo rainbow toads in a tree during an evening expedition after months of searching.

Prior to the discovery, scientists had to make do with hand drawn pictures sketched by 1920s European explorers.

87 years later, they have a high resolution photograph of the rainbow beauty to share on the Internet and around the world.

After the toad was named one of the "world's top 10 most wanted frogs" by non-profit organization Conservation International, Dr. Indraneil Das and his team of UNIMAS researchers scoured the jungles between Malaysia's Sarawak State and Indonesia's Kalimantan Barat Province looking for the amphibian. Months of searching yielded nothing until one researcher spotted the toad high in a tree.

"Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad, and the critical importance of amphibians to healthy ecosystems, are what fuel us to keep searching for lost species," said Dr. Das.

"They remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering," he added.

Dr. Robin Moore of Conservation International was equally excited about the discovery. "It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope, especially amidst our planet's escalating extinction crisis," Moore explained.

[Via BBC]