New frog species discovery in Indonesia

This video says about itself:

Borneo Eared Frog or Bony Headed Flying Frog – Polypedates otilophus

30 January 2014

This interesting frog species can be found in Borneo, Sumatra and other Indonesian islands. Read more about various frog species here. This frog has interesting shaped legs which give it the ability to glide. The flying frog of Borneo also has bony protrusions behind its eyes which give it the appearance of having ears. It is also sometimes called the File-eared tree frog. In this video I show a few different frogs. This was taken at a chorus of colors exhibit.

From ScienceDaily:

Life in the fast flow: Tadpoles of new species rely on ‘suction cups’ to keep up

The frogs living in the rainforest of Sumatra also represent a new genus

March 12, 2018

Summary: The young of two new species and a genus of frog found to inhabit Sumatra’s rainforests have developed a unique ability to latch onto rocks in the fast-flowing rivers, using bellies crafted by evolution into ‘suction cups’. Herpetologists use their remarkable discovery to highlight the unique biodiversity of the island, which is under imminent threat due to rampant habitat modification and deforestation.

Indonesia, a megadiverse country spanning over 17,000 islands located between Australia and mainland Asia, is home to more than 16% of the world’s known amphibian and reptile species, with almost half of the amphibians found nowhere else in the world. Unsurprisingly, biodiversity scientists have been feverishly discovering and describing fascinating new animals from the exotic island in recent years.

Such is the case of an international team from the University of Hamburg, Germany, University of Texas at Arlington, USA, University of Bern, Switzerland and Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia, who came across a curious tadpole while collecting amphibian larvae from fast-flowing streams as part of an arduous expedition in the remote forests on the island of Sumatra.

To the amazement of the scientists, it turned out that the tadpoles possess a peculiar cup-like structure on their bellies, in addition to the regular oral disk found in typical tadpoles. As a result, the team described two new species and a genus in the open access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution. A previously known, but misplaced in an unsuitable genus, frog was also added to the group, after it was proved that it takes advantage of the same modification.

“This phenomenon where tadpoles display ‘belly suckers’ is known as gastromyzophory and, albeit not unheard of, is a rare adaptation that is only found in certain toads in the Americas and frogs in Asia”, explains lead author Umilaela Arifin.

The abdominal sucker, it is hypothesized, helps these tadpoles to exploit a very special niche — fast-flowing streams — where the water would otherwise be too turbulent and rapid to hang around. Gastromyzophorous species, however, rely on the suction provided by their modified bellies to secure an exclusive access to plentiful food, such as algae, while the less adapted are simply washed away.

When the scientists took a closer look at the peculiar tadpoles and their adult forms, using a powerful combination of molecular and morphological data, they realized that they had not only stumbled upon a rare amphibian trait, but had also discovered two brand new species of frogs in the process.

Moreover, the animals turned out so distinct in their evolutionary makeup, compared to all other frogs, that the scientists had to create a whole new genus to accommodate them. Formally named Sumaterana, the genus is to be commonly referred to as Sumatran Cascade Frogs.

“We decided to call the new genus Sumaterana after Sumatra, to reflect the fact that these new species, with their rare evolutionary adaptation are endemic to Sumatra’s rainforests and, in a sense, are emblematic of the exceptional diversity of animals and plants on the island,” says co-author Dr. Utpal Smart. “Tragically, all of them are in peril today, given the current rate of deforestation.”

The authors agree that much more taxonomic work is still needed to determine and describe Sumatra’s herpetofaunal diversity, some of which they fear, could be irreversibly lost well before biologists have the chance to discover it.


Indonesian rhino poacher becomes pro-rhino conservation wood carver

Sumatran rhino carving

From the International Rhino Foundation about this:

Wooden Sumatran Rhino

Hand-carved by a former poacher who now works in collaboration with our Rhino Protection Units to save Sumatran rhinos in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.

Each statue is 6″ tall x 9.5″long x 3.75″ deep.

Dutch war crimes in Sumatra, Indonesia investigation

This video says about itself:

Shocking story of Dutch war veteran in Indonesia

12 January 2012



In Tabee Toean – meaning ‘Goodbye Sir’ in Indonesian – five veterans of the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949) share their recollections, telling us how they as young soldiers, unprepared for guerrilla warfare, found themselves in a devil’s circle of excessive violence and cruelty.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Investigation into war crimes in Sumatra

Today, 10:18

The Netherlands has possibly committed war crimes on the Indonesian island Sumatra. The foundation Committee Dutch Debts of Honour (K.U.K.B.) now does research on that.

The foundation is investigating an air strike on Bandar Buat in 1947, the ANP news agency reports. In bombardments by fighter aircraft on the market there many civilians are said to have been hit.

For the research, witnesses and survivors are being sought who can provide more information about what happened at that time. If enough people will turn up, then the foundation will be able to bring a lawsuit in order to get compensation and recognition for the victims.

The Netherlands guilty

The K.U.K.B. has previously successfully litigated on Dutch war crimes in Indonesia. The foundation has, inter alia, litigated on behalf of widows and children of men who were executed in South Sulawesi and Java. The Dutch government was ultimately ruled to be liable for the damage they have suffered thereby.

Sumatran tigers, camera trap video

This video from Indonesia says about itself:

Rare Camera Trap Footage of Sumatran Tigers

Exciting footage of two wild tigers giving signals they are ready to mate captured by WWF’s camera trap in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra.

Read more here.

A new scientific publication from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Authority looks at the effectiveness of the park’s protection zone and finds that the density of Sumatran tigers has increased despite the continued threat of living in an ‘In Danger’ World Heritage Site: here.

A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. The study found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra, 17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators: here.

Save Sumatran elephants

This video is called Sumatran Elephant Emergency Appeal.

It says about itself:

26 June 2014

An emergency appeal has been launched by the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) for local conservation group HAkA, in response to a significant increase in poaching of Sumatran elephants in Aceh, Indonesia.

The appeal will allow the HAkA teams (made up of local community members and trained conservation professionals) to carry out essential patrols in the Leuser ecosystem throughout July, to remove snares from this key Sumatran elephant corridor during the most intense hunting period.

Visit here to donate.

Wildlife Extra adds:

There are just 500 Sumatran elephants, which are the smallest of the Asian elephants, left and they live in fragmented habitats, as almost 70 per cent of elephant-suitable habitat has been destroyed in the last 25 years.

As a result of this their home, the tropical forests of the Leuser Ecosystem, is part of a designated World Heritage Site in Danger.

And conservationists fear that an increase in poaching could drive this number down even further.

In the first five months of this year, local conservation group HAkA has found and destroyed 139 snares – already more than in the whole of 2013.

Limited forest cover also means that elephants can easily be trapped in small areas, making them easier targets for poachers.

Baby elephant video from Indonesia

This video from Indonesia says about itself:

Baby elephant learns to use her trunk

20 Dec 2013

This adorable baby elephant was born to a mother who is part of an elite team of critically endangered Sumatran elephants that help protect communities from conflict with wild elephants in Indonesia.

She’s nearly 4 months old, growing fast and starting to imitate her mother’s behaviour. Here it looks like she’s getting to grips with using her trunk!

Read more about the fantastic work of WWF-Indonesia’s elephant Flying Squad and the newest addition here.