Conservationists highlight weirdness of rare amphibians in push to save them
Scientists at the Zoological Society of London have evaluated all the world’s amphibians and compiled a list of the most unique and imperiled species. The top 10 most imperiled amphibians were highlighted as being in the most need of immediate action. Among the most imperiled are the Chinese giant salamander that can grow to lengths of nearly six feet; the olm, a blind salamander that lives underground, hunts using electrosensitivity, and can go 10 years without eating; and the Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, believed to be the world’s smallest, that grows to less than half an inch in length. “These animals may not be cute and cuddly, but hopefully their weird looks and bizarre behaviors will inspire people to support their conservation,” said ZSL’s Helen Meredith. “[These] amphibians are amongst the most remarkable and unusual species on the planet and yet an alarming 85 percent of the top 100 are receiving little or no conservation attention and will become extinct if action is not taken now.” Or, make that yesterday. Roughly 20 percent of the 100 most imperiled amphibians haven’t been seen for years.