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As he ventured into the forests of Chocó, a mountainous region in western Colombia, Conservation International (CI) Amphibian Conservation Officer Robin Moore wasn’t feeling very optimistic. As part of CI’s Search for the Lost Frogs, his small team of herpetologists was on the hunt for four species of amphibians that hadn’t been seen in at least a decade. But after spending the previous two days and nights sifting through leaf litter on steep mountain slopes in nearby Sonsón, not only had the researchers not seen any traces of these species – they had found almost no animal life at all.
Scientific knowledge of this species is based entirely on the 1914 discovery of two individuals in a creek north of the western Colombian village of Mesopotamia. Like other species in its genus, it is believed to produce eggs that hatch directly into small toads (forgoing the tadpole stage). The species has not been seen since its discovery, and its original habitat is unprotected and under intense pressure from human activities.