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Scientists discover long-lost Borneo Rainbow toad

by Jorge Hernandez on July 15, 2011

Thought to be lost to the annals of history, the beautiful Sambas Stream toad was recently rediscovered by scientists after having not been seen in 87 years. The animal, also known as the Borneo Rainbow toad, was found by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak scientists, who had spent months looking specifically for the creature.

According to, the discovery was part of the Search for Lost Frogs campaign, which was started by Conservation International. Though scientists eventually located the toad, it did not appear like they would at first. After initial attempts at finding it yielded no results, the team moved up in elevation and that's when a graduate student spotted the toad in a tree.

Team leader Indraneil Das says that along with the thrill of finding such a rare species, this discovery reaffirms his commitment to conservation of nature.

"They remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering, which is why targeted protection and conservation is so important," Das said in a press release. "Amphibians are indicators of environmental health, with direct implications for human health. Their benefits to people should not be underestimated."

The toad, which is so named thanks to its vibrant, bright coloration, was last season by European explorers in 1924. According to the news source, the team found three of the toads, and was able to check the species off a list of 10 amphibians that are waiting to be discovered.

Earlier this year, scientists found the Rio Pescado stubfoot toad, which was also on the list. However, that toad was last seen in 1995, and was considered to be much less rare than the rainbow toad.

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