An unusual species of frog lives in the jungles of Central and South America: the glass frog. This amphibian is found in the warm, moist elevated forests and just like tree frogs, lives in bushes and trees.
In general, the animal is fairly small, which means they typically go unnoticed. That is probably why the Manduriacu glass frog has only recently been discovered. Unfortunately, this glass frog species is already threatened with extinction … the small habitat of the frog lies within an area where mining activities take place.
When the graceful and once-unknown glass frog was found next to an unspoiled stream in the hills at the foot of the Andes in Ecuador, nothing seemed to be wrong. The amphibian owes its name to its transparent skin, as its organs are visible. What makes the Manduriacu glass frog unique are its hind legs. In contrast to other frogs, they don’t have flippers.
The reason that glass frogs are transparent may be an evolutionary advantage. If they were not, birds could see their silhouette from above and try to attack and eat them. Because the animals are (partially) transparent, they do not stand out for their natural enemies.
The Manduriacu species only lives in the Reserva Río Manduriacu, a valley at an altitude of 1,200 meters. Although the habitat is in a reserve that is privately owned, the area is part of a mining concession. This threatens the survival of the species …