New frog species named after James Cameron
Belgian researcher Philippe Kok (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel) describes two new endangered frog species from northern South America in the European Journal of Taxonomy. The IUCN conservation status of the newly discovered frogs is considered as Endangered (EN).
The new frog species were discovered on the 'Lost World’ table-top mountains of northern South America. One of the new species is named Pristimantis jamescameroni, in honour of film maker and explorer James Cameron for “his efforts to alert the general public to environmental problems through pioneering high quality blockbuster movies and adventurous documentaries”. Pristimantis jamescameroni is only known from the (less than 5 km2 large) summit of an isolated table-top mountain (tepui) in northern South America.
The second species, named Pristimantis imthurni in honour of Sir Evrard im Thurn, a British colonial official who was the first to climb a major tepui (Mount Roraima in 1884), is currently only reported from the summit of an even smaller tepui (about 1 km2).
The two frog species are considered as endangered owing to their very restricted range and to the sensitivity of tepui ecosystems to global warming.
Philippe Kok, granted by the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen (FWO), reports the discovery in a scientific article published in the European Journal of Taxonomy.
Kok P.J.R. 2013. Two new charismatic Pristimantis species (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the tepuis of “The Lost World” (Pantepui region, South America). European Journal of Taxonomy 60: 1-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2013.60
Find out more about Philippe Kok and his research in the tepui region: