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Meet One of the Rarest Frogs on Earth


The Quito Rocket frog has been pushed to the edge of extinction. With only around 100 left in the wild, and all confined to a single stream near the Cotopaxi volcano, its survival depends on the help of a team of scientists.

This is the Quito Rocket frog.

They were once common across the Ecuadorian Andes, but disease and climate change have pushed them to the edge of extinction.

The tiny male sends a high pitched call out through the undergrowth.

He''s waiting for a response from a female.

Unfortunately, there''s no answer.

And that''s not too surprising, as there are only thought to be around 100 individuals left in the wild.

Like other disappearing species of frogs, he''s one of rarest animals in the world.

Along with the rest of his kind, he now inhabits just one small creek.

And if finding the last of his kind isn''t hard enough The volcano on which this frog lives has awakened.

Cotopaxi''s summit is home to one of the world''s few equatorial glaciers.

A catastrophic eruption here would create devastating lahars - boiling flash floods created by the rapid melting of snow and ice by the lava.

If the volcano were to erupt, the stream that is home to this little frog would be transformed into a hot mudslide.

Thankfully, the Rocket frog now has a helping hand from a team of scientists from Quito.

Andres and his team are frog fanatics.

'This is the last known location where this frog can be found.

It''s very difficult to find the frogs.

The best way to do it is try to make them call to you back.

So we make the sound [whistle]. And that''s the sound of the mating call so they can respond to us.'

The team is now frantically collecting the last remaining individuals for a breeding program.

If successful, they will release a population back into a safer stream, out of the volcano''s reach.

For now, the fate of a species is in the hands of Andres and his team and Cotopaxi.