In 1975 two conservationists discovered a gorgeous salamander in the rainforests of Guatemala. No one ever saw it again – and Jackson’s climbing salamander was feared extinct – until last month when local forest guard, Ramos León-Tomás, sat down in the forest for lunch.
The last time anyone saw Jackson’s climbing salamander – I didn’t yet exist. It was 1975: Margaret Thatcher took over leadership of the Tories, Saigon fell to Communist forces, the USSR was still a thing, and everyone was listening to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. And in Guatemala, reeling from over a decade of civil war, two American conservationists found a little treasure of black and gold: they named it Jackson’s climbing salamander. Then it vanished as if it had never been.