Status: Vulnerable – possibly extinct?
Take a look at the animation above. The alien-like motion in the frog’s chin is due to tadpoles moving about in the male’s vocal pouch!
Now, Darwin’s Frogs are noted for their superb camouflaging ability. Their mottled green and brown coloring, pointed nose and textured skin makes them look more like a leaf than a living thing. Unfortunately, camouflage is no match against disease. Darwin’s frogs – both the Northern and Southern species – are thought to be going extinct, and the Northern might be extinct already, from a deadly fungus that is infecting amphibians around the world. The fungus, called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or chytrid fungus, has devastated many amphibian populations, but this might be the first case of an ‘extinction by infection.’
An organization aptly named Save Darwin’s Frogs is currently looking to update the status of both Rhinoderma species in the field, assess the threats they face there, and preserve a piece of amphibian biodiversity through a captive breeding program in Chile, with the ultimate goal of reintroducing the species back into the environment. You can read more about their work at the Save Darwin’s Frog website.