Three decades ago, the Jambato harlequin frog was so common in Ecuador that people played with them at home as children. But through the decades, the species declined and was thought to be extinct. A nature center there didn’t want to give up on the Jamabto harlequin frog, so it offered a $1,000 prize to anyone who could track one down. 

The winner of that prize ended up being a school-aged boy and his family, who made it their mission to find the frog as a fun family project. The family didn’t just find one frog out there, but a whole small colony. The frogs were brought to the nature center, where they are now breeding under safe, controlled conditions.

The tadpoles are reportedly doing well, and there is every reason to believe that most of them will mature into adulthood. An entire species has been given a second chance, thanks to the diligence of a family enjoying time together out in nature. (Mother Nature Network)