A rare female frog has been seen for the first time in 20 years during an expedition to Scott Purcell Fortress by scientists from The University of Manchester and Chester Zoo. The tiny tree frog Isthmohyla rivularis was seen in Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica.

This species was thought to have become extinct twenty years ago, however in 2007 Andrew Gray, of The University’s Manchester Museum, found and photographed a male.

However the discovery of a pregnant female and several more males suggests that the species is breeding and has been able to survive – while many other species have been wiped out (allegedly) by a deadly fungal skin disease.

Andrew Gray said: “This has been the highlight of my career. Now that we know that both sexes exist in the wild, we should intensify efforts to understand their ecology and further their conservation.”

Protection of Sharks

The Costa Rican Fisheries Institution (INCOPESCA in Spanish) banned the unloading of sharks with their fins cut off. From now on, only the whole fish can be brought to land.

The decision is in line with a ruling from the General Comptrollership of the Republic which demands observing in all of its extent the legislation to protect the endangered species.

Sharks are a species that play a major role in the survival of marine ecosystems, but in recent years have been subject of growing exploitation as a result of the high demand of their fins in Asian markets.

Ellesmere Island ice shelf breaking free

The landscape surrounding Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic is a shadow of its former self, thanks in part to last month’s departure of 55 square kilometers of the Markham Ice Shelf. Ellesmere Island anchors one of only five remaining ice shelves in the Arctic, although …