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Research / Discovery

Tiny toads could impact Amazon conservation efforts

December 12, 2011

Chris Funk, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, worked with Ecuadorian biologists on a study that found a much greater diversity of frogs in the Amazon Basin than previously recorded.

The results published by Funk and his team reported a diversity of one- to two-inch-long tree frogs and toadlets that was anywhere from 150 percent to 350 percent greater than originally estimated.

The team documented new species by collecting DNA, measuring physical size and shape, and recording and analyzing frog calls, finding an estimated 12 new species. More significant, Funk said, is the percentage increase of new species found using DNA sequences and recordings of frog calls to more accurately identify species.

The research gives scientists more information about mapping the patterns of diverse frog species so they can begin to understand how to protect them from extinction.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
E-mail: Emily.Wilmsen@ColoState.EDU
Phone: (970) 491-2336