Discovery of Purple Frog
The purple frog is the sole representative of an ancient lineage of frogs that has been evolving independently for over 130 million years.
Its closest relatives are the Seychelles frogs, the ancestors of which were present on the Indo-Madagascan land mass with the purple frog’s predecessors when it broke away from the supercontinent of Gondwana 120 million years ago.
Formally discovered in 2003, the purple frog spends most of the year underground, surfacing only to breed during the monsoon. It was the first new family of frogs to be discovered since 1926.
This species is threatened by ongoing forest loss for coffee, cardamom and ginger plantations.
ZSL’s purple frog project is part of its EDGE programme, is being run in association with the University of Delhi, with funding from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.
The Zoological Society of London has released the first known footage of the purple frog, one of its EDGE Focal species, taken during ZSL’s ongoing conservation work in the Western Ghats in India.
This footage was taken by Dr S.D. Biju and team (University of Delhi).