A new specie of rainfrog recently discovered has been officially named Pristimantis gretathunbergae, in honour of the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The frog’s specie, nicknamed Greta Thunberg Rainfrog,  has been first described in the Pensoft scientific journal ZooKeys, in an article titled A new rainfrog of the genus Pristimantis (Anura, Brachycephaloidea) from central and eastern Panama.

It was discovered on the sky island of Cerro Chucantí in eastern Panama, by Abel Batista, Konrad Mebert, and others. They were conducting field research partially funded by the Rainforest Trust, a non-profit environmental organization. In 2018, this NGO auctioned off naming rights for some new species, and one of the winners chose to name this new rainfrog specie in honour of the activist.

The average adult male of this generally stocky frog is around 34.6 mm long, with a head approximately as wide as long, have a short snout, broadly rounded in dorsal view, moderate in length, and rounded and slightly protruding in profile. Females are a bit bigger. The colour of the back is cream, the margin of the upper lip in females is yellow, the iris nearly black with pale dots or speckles, and the belly dirty white.

James Deutsch, Rainforest Trust’ CEO, said: “The Rainforest Trust is deeply honoured to sponsor the naming of this exquisite and threatened Panamanian frog species for Greta Thunberg. Greta more than anyone reminds us that the future of every species on Earth depends on what we do right now to end climate change.

Cerro Chucantí and the surrounding Maje Mountains are highly threatened by rapid deforestation and the forest is constantly replaced by plantations and cattle pastures. This makes it even more appropriate to give the frog the name of a vegan climate activist campaigning against deforestation and animal agriculture. In 2021 Greta produced a documentary called For Nature in which she explains how animal exploitation has caused our current health and environmental crises.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.