Critically endangered frog species named after South African scientist

Posted on 24 April 2023 By Tsoku Maela

A newly discovered species of frog from southern Madagascar has been named Blommersia dupreezi in honour of Professor Louis du Preez of North-West University.

Professor du Preez is a National Research Foundation B-rated scientist and leads the African Amphibian Conservation Research Group. He has spent many years researching frogs and their parasites and has written 164 papers and eight books to date.

The discovery of the Blommersia dupreezi is particularly significant as the species is critically endangered and belongs to a group of frogs called the Mantellidae, which only occur in Madagascar and the Comoros Islands. Professor du Preez stressed the importance of researching frogs, which he described as ‘the most threatened vertebrate group on the globe.’ He explained that understanding the specific requirements of frogs is crucial to protect them and the ecosystems they inhabit.

In addition to his research, Professor du Preez has co-founded an app called the Complete Guide to Southern African Frogs, aimed at both the general public and scientists. The app helps users identify different frog species and allows them to upload their observations, which can then be verified by scientists. Professor du Preez acknowledged the support of his family, who have joined him in research and turned family trips into learning opportunities. He is due to release a book on flatworm parasites of frogs from around the world in September.

Picture: Environmental Sciences & Management NWU

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