A conservation expedition to the deforested hills of Haiti, struck by a major earthquake a year ago, has found frog species unseen for 20 years.In just eight days of searching in the few forest fragments left, researchers found 25 of Haiti's 49 known species.They hope this will focus attention on conserving the few percent that remain of the nation's once abundant forest.
There were concerns that people moving away from the stricken coastal zone would increase pressure on the few remaining pieces of forest.But this appears not have been the case - at least in the forests of the Massif de la Hotte and Massif de la Selle."Within Haiti, very few people have been to this area, which is one of the reasons we wanted to do this - to highlight what is still there," said Robin Moore of Conservation International, who led the expedition."If we talk to people in [the capital] Port-au-Prince about conservation, they shake their heads and ask 'what are we going to conserve?' - but we showed that there is good forest still, and it contains some unique species."The expedition was not a complete success, with no sightings of the principal target - the La Selle grass frog, which was last seen 25 years ago and is listed as possibly extinct.But among the species that were seen were five that were last recorded in 1991.
The expedition to Haiti in October was run by Conservation International and the Amphibian Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).It was an adjunct to a larger project aiming to rediscover amphibian species thought to be extinct - a project that has already turned up a Mexican salamander not seen since its discovery in 1941, a frog from the Ivory Coast last observed in 1967, and another frog from Democratic Republic of Congo not seen since 1979.Read rest and pics here : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12164264