Two new species of Salamander discovered in Colombia as deadly fungus detected for first time15/02/2013 16:28:54 Chytridiomycosis detected for the first time in north-east Colombia
February 2013. A team of young researchers from Colombia have recently found two new species of salamander that were discovered during a project supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme and Save Our Species.
The two new salamanders belong to the genus Bolitoglossa, otherwise known as tropical climbing or web-footed salamanders. One of the salamanders (B. leandrae) has been named after an 11-year old girl who became friends with the team whilst they conducted their fieldwork. "Leandra grew fascinated by the world of amphibians," explains team leader Aldemar Acevedo. "She was eager to learn about our work and became an excellent spokesperson for nature conservation among the community."
Bolitoglossa tamaense is slightly longer than B. leandrae (the body of the longest specimen measured approximately 5 cm, or the same as the height of a credit card) and has a broad head and relatively long body and legs. A number of different colourations and patterns were recorded, but the body is generally brown or dark red, and the tail and limbs can be dark brown, red, orange or yellow.
In their journal article, the authors highlight the need for more field and lab-based research to improve our understanding of amphibian diversity, and for more practical conservation projects to take place in the region.
Tamá Bi-National Park
To try and control the rapid spread of the fungus, the team ran several biosafety workshops for rangers and community members. In the future, the team plans to conduct further research to measure the success of their biosafety workshops and they are currently looking for funding to kick-start reforestation programmes in areas of habitat that would be suitable for amphibians.
The finding was published an article in the journal Zootaxa