Scientists find new frog species in New York City

The new male leopard frog species, named Rana kauffeldi.

You would have thought that every square metre of New York City had long since given up its secrets, but there are things to discover even in the Big Apple, scientist who have identified a new species of frog have found.

Jeremy Feinberg from Rutgers University and colleagues have detailed their new find – a previously unknown species of leopard frog – in PLOS ONE journal.

The species inhabits parts of metropolitan New York City, where it was first identified, but its range also extends to the north and south and follows a narrow and largely coastal lowland distribution from central Connecticut to northeastern North Carolina.

The scientists analysed acoustic and genetic data to characterise the new species as Rana kauffeldi.

Alas, no sooner found than we might lose the creature. It typically occurs in open-­canopied wetlands interspersed with upland patches, but centuries of habitat loss may threaten the species.

"The discovery of a new frog species from the urban Northeast is truly remarkable and completes a journey that began six years ago with a simple frog call in the wilds of New York City," Feinberg writes.

"This story underscores the synergy that traditional field methods and modern molecular and bioacoustic techniques can have when used together; one is really lost without the other, but together are very powerful tools."

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