Rare tree frog now extinct after last specimen named ‘Toughie’ dies in captivity

Toughie is believed to have been 12 years old (Picture: Atlanta Botanical Garden)

The last recorded member of a rare tree frog species has died at a botanical garden in America.

The frog, who was affectionally known as ‘Toughie’ was thought to be the last Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog in existence until his body was discovered at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Toughie was believed to be 12 years old, and was found dead in his enclosure last week during a routine inspection. 

The Rabbs’ tree frog was first discovered in 2005 when a group of scientists undertook a trip to Panama - with the species named after conservationists George and Mary Rabb.

But shortly after returning to the U.S. with Toughie, they discovered that the region was blighted by chytridiomycosis, a disease that is threatening to wipe out half of the world’s amphibian population.

During his time in captivity, Toughie mated with a female, but none of their tadpoles survived and the female later died in captivity.

And when another specimen known as Zoo Atlanta died in 2014, Toughie became the sole representative of his species. 

He was also housed in a specially designed ‘FrogPOD’, a box that was used to house critically endangered animals.