The HS IV students studying the Tungtong River watershed have recently discovered the existence of the Luzon Fanged-Frog in the river. Guided by Sir Neil, the students (Bella Fernandez, Fatima Fernandez-Cuervo, Julia Gaurano, Sam Santos) are now conducting a population study to see if the frog is holding its own against numerous environmental stressors.
The Luzon Fanged Frog (Limnonectes macrocephalus) is found only in Luzon and is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation Nature). Studies reveal that its population is declining at 30% per decade due to habitat destruction, pesticide use and over harvesting (it’s an alternative source of protein for humans in rural areas).
In spite of its fearsome name, the Luzon Fanged Frog is completely harmless. Its “fangs” are actually more like blunt teeth and they are not venomous. It’s a powerful jumper, however, and, coupled with its ability to produce extra slime on demand, makes it a difficult frog to catch. I’ve seen one jump almost two meters horizontally. Unfortunately, it is no match for man’s electro-fishing gear. If unprotected, the Luzon Fanged Frog may soon join the ranks of the critically endangered animals that are found only in the Philippines.