A tiny species of frog that may be found only in Virachey National Park in Cambodia’s remote northeast was yesterday officially classified as endangered by a major international conservation group.
The Musical Leaf-litter frog, which is known only to inhabit Virachey but may extend into small areas of Vietnam and Laos, was given the endangered listing by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Discovered in 2010, the frog, which grows to only about 2 centimetres in length, emits a sound similar to a cricket, according to researchers who have studied it in the field.
“This species is listed as endangered due to its relatively small estimated extent of occurrence of 3,792 km², which appears to be declining in both size and quality of habitat.
The species’ population is also restricted as only one threat-defined location is known,” the IUCN wrote in the listing.
Virachey has seen rapid deforestation and other forms of habitat loss in recent years.
Only seven of the Musical Leaf-litter frogs have ever been recorded.