Latonia – Hula painted frog

Was recently (2011) rediscovered after being declared extinct for 60 years

The Hula painted frog is a remarkable example of a Lazarus species, a term coined for animals that seemingly recover from extinction after being erroneously declared extinct. This unique amphibian is native to the wetlands of Israel’s Lake Hula, making it an extraordinary and critically endangered species with a captivating history of rediscovery and conservation efforts.

The Hula painted frog gained its Lazarus species status because it was initially believed to have vanished after the wetlands it inhabited were drained for agricultural purposes. For decades, it was considered extinct, and its rediscovery in the wild was met with astonishment and excitement among conservationists and scientists. This remarkable comeback exemplifies the resilience of certain species, even in the face of severe habitat alterations.

Despite its resurgence, the Hula painted frog remains an incredibly rare and critically endangered species. Fewer than 20 specimens have ever been discovered, highlighting the fragile status of this amphibian. However, since its rediscovery, multiple individuals have been located near a single pond, providing hope for the species’ continued survival and potential population recovery.

Recognizing the significance of this Lazarus species, Israel has taken measures to protect and conserve the Hula painted frog. Conservation efforts include safeguarding its remaining habitat, raising awareness about its endangered status, and conducting research to better understand its ecological needs and behaviors.