Saturday, January 15, 2011

Notes from the Field: Dante in Chile

Rhinoderma darwinii, Darwins frog
"The big news is that we have our first captive born and bred Darwin's Frogs.  An image of a baby at the tip of a gloved human fingertip is attached. 
Males store the developing larvae in their vocal sac and "spit out" fully developed baby frogs.  There are only two species on Earth that do this...both Darwin's Frogs.

The program has been given permission to collect frogs from some private parks and will soon have breeding groups in their facility from several additional localities.  We are also targeting populations that have shown signs of decline or are in imminent threat from deforestation.
The large sculpture of a Darwin's Frog was commissioned by a Chilean artist.  The sculpture is placed next to the breeding facility at the zoo to draw in visitors and get them to read the graphics about the conservation initiative, which were designed by one of our amphibian specialists"

— DantĂ© Fenolio, PhD. Amphibian Research Scientist