September 9, 2009
—The male Kuranda tree frog (pictured) is one slick amphibian: It has a distinctive tapping call that scientists have dubbed fast talk.
Discovered in tropical Queensland state in eastern Australia,
the frog is among at least 1,300 new plant and animal species found in the country since 1999, according to a new report by the conservation group WWF-Australia (Australia map
Listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the frog hops through a habitat of just 1.3 square miles (3.5 square kilometers). Its fast talking quickly devolves into aggressive wrestling matches with competitors, according to the report, released to mark Australia's National Threatened Species Day on September 7.
(Related pictures: "Brilliant New Frog, Salamander Species Found."
"The extent of Australia's rich biodiversity is astounding, to the point where science is regularly being used to describe new species," Michael Roache of WWF-Australia said in a statement.
Over the last ten years in Australia, scientists have unearthed an average of at least two new species a week, he added.
Photograph courtesy Aaron Payne, WWF Australia