Biologists have seen the Starry Night Harlequin Toad for the first time in almost three decades, after it had been presumed extinct. Although, judging by its stunning black-and-white-spotted appearance, it’s hard to see how it remained so elusive for all these years. The long-lost toad was recently documented on Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta , the tallest coastal mountain range on Earth, by a team of researchers from the NGO Fundación Atelopus, partners with Global Wildlife Conservation , and the indigenous Arhuaco people of the Sogrome community. The last time this handsome fella was scientifically observed was back in 1991, causing many to fear it had slipped into extinction as the result of a deadly fungal pathogen that’s wiped out many of its genera. However, the local Sogrome community was well aware that the species was alive and kicking. The Arhuaco people place a huge amount of spiritual and cultural significance onto the toad, which they call "gouna". The toads are an excellent barometer of the environmental well-being of the habitat they both share, and the people and amphibians have lived in harmony and been in "dialogue" for generations. “The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a place […]

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