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Happy Holidays from Mongabay



(12/25/2012) Red-eyed tree frog. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2013 from all of us at Mongabay.com

Continue reading: Happy Holidays from Mongabay




Best of 2012 - Voracious insect-killing machine in Borneo



(12/20/2012) Treefrog in the Borneo rainforest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

While most people think of frogs as harmless, to their prey they are highly-effective killing machines. This treefrog, like virtually all other frogs, is carnivorous, feeding on arthropods in the rainforest of Borneo. I haven't yet identified the species — if anyone recognizes it, please let me know in the comments.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Voracious insect-killing machine in Borneo




Best of 2012 - Draco lizard hanging on a twig



(12/18/2012) Draco lizard at night in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

Draco lizard at night in Sabah, Malaysia.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Draco lizard hanging on a twig




Best of 2012 - Can you find the camouflaged frog?



(12/15/2012) Stream frog on Nosy Mangabe. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a well-camouflaged frog on Nosy Mangabe, an island in the Bay on Antongil, Madagascar. Do you know the species?

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Can you find the camouflaged frog?




Best of 2012 - Mating frogs in the Borneo rainforest



(12/14/2012) Mating frogs in the Borneo rainforest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

These frogs were in amplexus on the forest floor near the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. I haven't identified the species. Any ideas?

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Mating frogs in the Borneo rainforest




Best of 2012 - Backlit forest dragon in Borneo



(12/13/2012) Backlit forest dragon in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a forest dragon taken on a night hike at MESCOT on the Kinabatangan River.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Backlit forest dragon in Borneo




Best of 2012 - a cryptic gecko in Madagascar



(12/11/2012) Uroplatus gecko in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.



Continue reading: Best of 2012 - a cryptic gecko in Madagascar




Best of 2012 - Forest dragon in Borneo



(12/07/2012) Forest dragon in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is an agamid lizard in Danum Valley, an area of rich rainforest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. I was in Sabah twice this year looking at logging and oil palm plantations.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Forest dragon in Borneo




Best of 2012 - Giant day gecko in Madagascar



(12/06/2012) Giant day gecko in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a Giant Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis) in Ankarana Special Reserve in northern Madagascar. The Giant day gecko is found widely in Madagascar. It is also commonly kept in the pet trade.

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Giant day gecko in Madagascar




Best of 2012 - Borneo frog



(12/03/2012) Tree frog in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

For the month of December, I'll be posting some of my favorite pictures from 2012. All of these photos were taken during the course of my reporting travels.

This is a tree frog I photographed in Danum Valley in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Does anyone recognize the species?

Continue reading: Best of 2012 - Borneo frog




The minuscule leaf chameleon in Madagascar



(11/02/2012) Leaf chameleon (Brookesia species) in the hand of a forest guide on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

This is a full grown chameleon. Brookesia are among the smallest lizards on the planet.

Continue reading: The minuscule leaf chameleon in Madagascar




Gorgeous Parson's chameleon



(10/31/2012) Parson's chameleon near Analamazoatra Reserve.

Continue reading: Gorgeous Parson's chameleon




Baby sea turtle headed out to sea



(09/22/2012) Baby Olive ridley sea turtle headed out to sea in Costa Rica.

Between natural predators and hazards, baby sea turtles face steep odds — only one in 5,000-10,000 survive to adulthood. These odds are made worse by threats from humans: coastal development, fishing nets, garbage, pollution, and domesticated animals, to name a few.

Continue reading: Baby sea turtle headed out to sea




Green iguana on pink flowers



(09/20/2012) Young green iguana in Eastern Colombia.

When visiting Casanare in Eastern Colombia I noticed this young iguana in a flowering shrub. I couldn't believe my luck — the color contrast was stunning. And surprisingly, the iguana showed little fear, allowing me to approach for this closeup shot using a macro lens.

Continue reading: Green iguana on pink flowers




Gecko meet insect



(08/30/2010) The giant leaf tailed gecko of Madagascar, Uroplatus fimbriatus, hangs out above a flying insect. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Continue reading: Gecko meet insect




Micro frog discovered in Borneo



(08/26/2010) A new species of miniature frog was discovered in Borneo. Microhyla nepenthicola, shown here on the tip of a pencil, is about the size of a pea.

Continue reading: Micro frog discovered in Borneo




Frog shadow in New Guinea



(08/26/2010) Frog near Manokwari in West Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler in August 2010

Continue reading: Frog shadow in New Guinea




Toad in the hole



(08/05/2010) An unidentified ground toad peeking out in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

If you have any information on this orb spider species please contact me.

Continue reading: Toad in the hole




A last look and then goodbye: an island lizard goes extinct



(07/06/2010) A last look at the now extinct Selmunett lizard (Podarcis filfolensis ssp. Kieselbachi). Photo by: Arnold Sciberras.

Arnold Sciberras, a Maltese herpetologist, says the Selmunett lizard is gone. Native to the small island of Selmunett, the species was lost largely due to the introduction of rats on the island. The subspecies was one of four subspecies of the Maltese wall lizard.

Continue reading: A last look and then goodbye: an island lizard goes extinct




Caiman close-up



(06/29/2010) A baby caiman at CaƱo Negro National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

Continue reading: Caiman close-up




Find the frog!



(06/24/2010) A well-camouflaged frog hangs out in the rainforests of Suriname. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2008.

Continue reading: Find the frog!




Snakes in trouble



(06/15/2010) A salmon-bellied snake (Mastigodryas melanolomus) slips through the undergrowth in Costa Rica. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

A new study has found evidence that snake populations may be declining rapidly worldwide. Looking at 17 distinct snake populations on three continents the study found that 64 percent of the populations saw precipitous drops, while only one population rose. Declines began in 1998, the warmest year on record, pointing to climate change as a possible cause for the population drops. But herpetologists say more research is necessary.

Snakes play a vital role in agriculture by controlling pest populations, especially of rodents. Some animals also depend on them as prey.

Continue reading: Snakes in trouble




Climate change battering the world's lizards



(05/19/2010) An Oustalet's chameleon wanders across a sandy landscape near Isalo, Madagascar. This species is one of the world's largest chameleons. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

A new study finds that lizards are vanishing due to the impact of a warmer world. Unless effective action is taken to lower carbon emissions the study warns that 20 percent of the world's lizard could vanish forever by 2080. The study found that lizards in Madagascar, home to about half of the world's chameleons, are especially vulnerable.

Continue reading: Climate change battering the world's lizards




Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator)



(04/25/2010) A clouded monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis nebulosus) in Laos. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler, 2009.

This big lizard is adept at tree-climbing and can reach 1.5 meters in length. The IUCN Red List has yet to evaluate the status of this species; however it is poached in much of its range for its meat.

Continue reading: Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator)




Leatherback sea turtle camouflaging nest



(03/21/2010) The world's largest sea turtle, the Leatherback, camouflages its nest on a beach in northern Suriname. After laying their eggs, mother leatherbacks spend considerable time and energy camouflaging the nest by throwing up sand with their massive flippers in a wide area around the nest. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs, 2008.

The leatherback sea turtle is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. It is threatened by the harvesting of its eggs, drowning as bycatch, loss of beaches for nesting, light pollution, and the ingestion of plastic and other pollutants. Plastic chemicals have even been found in Leatherback sea turtle egg yolks.

Continue reading: Leatherback sea turtle camouflaging nest




The Anaconda



(03/11/2010) The stuff of myths, legends, and nightmare: the anaconda, according to Paul Rosolie, is even misunderstood by Amazonian tribes.

Continue reading: The Anaconda




Hatchling Olive Ridley sea turtle makes its way out to sea



(03/03/2010) Hatchling Olive Ridley sea turtle makes its way out to sea near Dominical, Costa Rica. Photo by Rhett A. Butler, 2008.

This sea turtle was one of several dozen braving attacking birds and other obstacles as they left the beach at Hacienda Baru. Male turtles will never again come ashore. Females will only return to nest (in the same beach) once they reach maturity after years and thousands of miles of swimming.

Continue reading: Hatchling Olive Ridley sea turtle makes its way out to sea




Blueberry poison arrow frog



(02/27/2010) Blueberry poison arrow frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Bocas de Toro, Panama. Photo by Rhett A. Butler, 2007.

This is just one of many color forms for Dendrobates pumilio. More commonly, this poison frog has red to orange coloration.

Continue reading: Blueberry poison arrow frog




Orange-footed, yellow spotted, blue and turquoise frog in Madagascar



(02/22/2010) Reed Frog (Heterixalus alboguttatus)

I spotted this colorful frog near Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. It's common name is misleading: the White Spotted Reed Frog.

Madagascar is thought to have more than 400 species of frog. All but one discovered to date are endemic to the island.

Continue reading: Orange-footed, yellow spotted, blue and turquoise frog in Madagascar




Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight



(02/12/2010) Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight.

Taman Negara, Malaysia.

Continue reading: Cave snake catching and eating a bat in flight




Extinct in the wild, but surviving in captivity: Mother and baby Panamanian golden toads



(01/03/2010) Harlequin toads (Atelopus sp) have been decimated by the outbreak of chytridiomycosis, a deadly fungal disease, across Latin America. Between the 1980s and 1990s, almost two-thirds of the 110 known harlequin frog species went extinct. Scientists say climate change and other habitat perturbations may be making frogs more vulnerable to infection.

The Panamanian golden toad (Atelopus zetecki) may have been a victim of chytridiomycosis. Recent surveys have failed to turn up the species in its native forest habitat in Panama.

Continue reading: Extinct in the wild, but surviving in captivity: Mother and baby Panamanian golden toads




Eye-gouging tree frog



(12/28/2009) The Gladiator tree frog (Hyla rosenbergi) is named for the fighting behavior of males. The Male Gladiator tree frog has a bony spine (an "unsheathed prepollex spine") on each hand which is used in fights over females and nests. Fighting frogs aim to gouge out their opponents' eyes and puncture their eardrums. Frogs are often maimed or killed in the duels.

Continue reading: Eye-gouging tree frog




Christmas chameleon



(12/24/2009) The male panther chameleons found near Maroantsetra, Madagascar are known for their striking red-and-green coloration, especially during the breeding season when they are competing for mates.

Continue reading: Christmas chameleon




Turquoise and green chameleon



(12/16/2009) Major banks and shipping companies are facilitating the destruction of Madagascar's species-rich rainforests, but ultimately it is consumers in China, the United States, and China who are driving the illicit trade in precious hardwoods.

Continue reading: Turquoise and green chameleon




Giant monkey frog



(12/12/2009) The giant monkey frog of Peru is known for its mind-altering skin secretions. Shamans in the Amazon rain forest have used this species in hunting rituals.

Continue reading: Giant monkey frog




Orange and red-striped Panther Chameleon in Ankarana



(11/27/2009) This spectacular male panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) was photographed in Ankarana Special Reserve in Northern Madagascar.

The panther chameleon is popular in the pet trade due to its bright colors, which vary regionally. Males are considerably more colorful than females, especially in the breeding season.

Continue reading: Orange and red-striped Panther Chameleon in Ankarana







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