A team of researchers were walking down the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes when they found a rare glass frog.
This see-through frog is also known as the Maduriacu glass frog after their home, Rio Manduriacu Reserve. They are usually bright green or olive green in color with abundant yellow spots in its back. Their bellies, on the other hand, is translucent.
Glass frogs prefer life in tropical rainforests, high in the treetops above water of an elevation of about 4,000 feet.
However, these magnificent translucent creatures are listed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss.
Though they are at a private reserve, the area where the glass frogs were discovered is known as a part of a mining concession. A study published in the journal PeerJ suggests that the exploration for gold and copper threatens their survival.
Juan Manuel Guayasamin Ernest, a researcher at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and lead author of the study, said that the creation of mining concessions at the Andes, which is home to many endemic species, has “increased at an alarming rate” and will continue to threaten the population of the glass frogs.
The researchers suggest that the glass frogs be listed as “critically endangered” by IUCN to alarm people, especially the government in Ecuador, to make a move and protect these animals.
The study serves as “a loud outcry to protect this new species and other critically endangered amphibians… especially from mining activities,” Luis Coloma, director of the Jambatu Center for Research and Conservation of Amphibians in Ecuador, has told National Geographic.