A new species of frog recently announced itself to scientists studying amphibians in the area surrounding New York City. The marshes and wetlands of the tristate area have long been recognized as home to spotted leopard frogs; several species have already been described in the region. But when researchers heard this frog's unusual vocalization, they suspected that it was not one of the known types of leopard frogs. Specimens were collected in northern New Jersey, Staten Island, and Connecticut, and DNA analysis soon proved that the frog with the unique croak was not a hybrid of the more common Northern and Southern Leopard Frogs, but a third, undescribed species with its own evolutionary lineage. As amphibians are highly sensitive to fluctuations in their environment, those living in densely populated urban areas are especially vulnerable. Accurate knowledge of species identities and distribution will help to preserve biodiversity and manage ecosystems in regions with high levels of human development. This latest Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Biodiversity until May 6, 2012. Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/. Related Links A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790312000383 Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences: Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources http://rci.rutgers.edu/~deenr/ New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife: Amphibians in New Jersey http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/chkamph.htm New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Amphibians and Reptiles http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7140.html Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection: Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=325856 Smithsonian Folkways: Sounds of North American Frogs http://www.folkways.si.edu/albumdetails.aspx?itemid=2421
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