A new species of frog discovered in Australia
Meet Philoria knowlesi, the newest member to the frog family!
A new species of frogs has been discovered in the sunshine state of Queensland - sadly, it has already been classified as endangered.
The only known habitat for the frog is in the Gondwana rainforests, heritage-listed rainforests that have been severely burned during the bushfires in the summer of 2019 and 2020.
Thanks to extensive genetic testing, the frog was discovered in the rainforests to be called Philoria knowlesi - named after Australian environmentalist Ross Knowles.
The Queensland environment department has pledged to protect the habitat of frogs: senior conservation officer, Harry Hines, said, “There are a number of measures rangers are taking to support the recovery of fire-impacted areas."
Professor Michael Mahony from the University of Newcastle remarked that the Gondwana rainforests were of "special significance" regarding the evolution of Australia's flora and fauna.
“There are currently seven known species of mountain frog, six of which are found only in the Gondwana rainforest area,” Mahony said.
Queensland governmental workers, namely ecologists, the University of Newcastle, South Cross University, CSIRO, and the South Australian Museum joined efforts in making this discovery.
Since 2006, scientists have been gathering and analyzing mountain frog DNA from the Gondwana, confirming ever since that each is a distinct species.
The frog, Philora knowlesi, comes in various shades of brown, and makes a deep "bop"-like croak sound.
The greatest threat to the frog is loss of habitat. For this, wildlife rangers are trying to keep out stray cattle from the area, in addition to controlling feral pigs while also reducing the risk of bushfires in the future.
Fortunately, a fraction of the national bushfire recovery fund, $3.85 million, will be allocated to the Gondwana rainforests.