The discovery of a new species of leopard tree frog in New York City is hardly surprising (see “A New Species in New York Was Croaking in Plain Sight,” New York Times 13 March 2012).
We are taught as children that nature is something “out there,” beyond the borders of our comfortable cities and towns. We forget that creatures lurk in every niche, whether that means behind a rotting log in upstate New York, or a few hops from Wall Street. In addition, the use of highly sensitive DNA testing only increases the likelihood of finding amazing creatures “hiding in plain sight.” This is the genetic equivalent of pointing the first telescopes at the sky—“Look at how many new stars we’ve found.” No matter how far we extend our reach, or how many high-rise condominiums we build, Nature will thrive in some form within our parks, underneath our streets, and behind our pizzerias.
Photo by Liz Domingue