‘Extinct’ toad hops back to kibbutz

Syrian spadefoot makes first appearance in the region in 25 years.

The Syrian spadefoot (Pelobates syriacus) toad hopped back into nature books after not being seen in the region for some 25 years. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority said improved ecological conditions encouraged the rare species to make a reappearance.

The spadefoot was found in a rain pool near Kibbutz Ga’ash, along the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second amphibian to return from a long hiatus in the last years. The Hula painted frog, also thought to have been extinct, was found at the end of 2011 in the Hula Valley.

Israeli conservationists called the spadefoot’s return ‘happy news.’

“So far we’ve found only one tadpole but it’s a sign there are more and we hope we’ll be able to find more species of animals in the pool,” Nature Authority ecologist Dr. Dana Milstein told Haaretz.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.