February 4, 2013

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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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director