Brazilian frog believed to be extinct found in the Atlantic Forest

Scientists found traces of a frog, which had been believed to be extinct for more than 50 years, using environmental DNA technique.

Scientists in Brazil uncovered the continued existence of the frog Megaelosia bocainensis in the Atlantic Forest. The species had not been seen in its São Paulo state habitat since 1968.

The researchers were conducting fieldwork to detect traces of particular endangered and low-population species present in the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado savanna. Through the use of eDNA surveys, the researchers singled out a total of 30 frogs across 6 sites.

“The technique has been used for many years,” says Carla Martins Lopes, a researcher at São Paulo State University in Brazil, to Mongabay. “But the difference with our study is that we have applied the technique on such a huge scale of species.

For conservation it’s really helpful, because by using environmental DNA you don’t need to directly see the species and it’s not an invasive process — you don’t need to manipulate the animal and you don’t need to disturb the environment — and it’s cheap.”

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