July 06, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Legend has it that only a kiss from a princess can transform a frog into a prince, but a rare Ecuadorian amphibian has taken on a noble title thanks to conservation scientists.

Amphibian Ark, a group which works for the survival of endangered frogs, newts and salamanders, decided to name a new species of stream frog Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, in recognition of British heir Prince Charles' conservation efforts.

"It is endangered and needs to be protected in the wild. Its rainforest habitat is under threat due to the impact of farming," said a spokesman for the conservation group.

"It's fairly unusual to name a new species after someone but this is seen as something special in honour of the Prince," he added.

Charles said he was "very touched" by the gesture, and vowed to redouble his efforts to help defend the world's rainforests.

He was presented with a glass replica of the brown and orange frog by Luis Coloma, the Ecuadorian scientist who discovered the amphibian four years ago.

"That's wonderful, I will treasure that," he said of the gift. "I shall battle even harder now."

Coloma said Charles had been "a very active campaigner to save tropical rainforests".

"The frogs live inside the forests and he has been using frogs as symbols for his campaign, so he's like a leader in this fight," he added.



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