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New Frog Species: New York City's Home to Spotted Leopards

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 01:31 PM

A new species of spotted leopard frog has been discovered in New York City wetlands, scientists have recently confirmed.

The discovery, first reported in the scientific journal PLOS One, was led by a group of scientists headed by Jeremy Feinberg of Rutgers University and is the first discovery of a new frog species in the region in nearly 30 years, according to BBC News.

Feinberg told BBC News that the frog, named Rana kauffeldi, likely had been seen before, but because of its similarities was thought to be a species of the leopard frog found in the same area.

He said when he heard the frogs call to each other in a chorus in the wetlands on Staten Island, he knew he was hearing something entirely unique.

"Frogs have very stereotyped calls within a species, so I knew this was different," Feinberg told BBC News. "But it took me two years to find someone to partner with me on the genetics side."

Feinberg told National Geographic the fact that they heard the chorus, which was a mating call, was a stroke of good fortune. He said the species breeds just a few weeks each year and the calls are often drowned out.

"That helps keep them hidden," Feinberg said to National Geographic. "You have to win the jackpot to hear them."

Feinberg said the species' habitats are being lost to development, particularly in New York.

"There's one population in Staten Island where all it would take is filling in one pond, and it would be gone," Feinberg told National Geographic.

Feinberg said the frogs have proven to be as tough as true New Yorkers because other leopard frog populations that once populated the area have declined or died off.

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A new species of spotted leopard frog has been discovered in New York City wetlands, scientists have recently confirmed.
new, frog, species, new york city
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2014-31-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 01:31 PM
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