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Nov. 22, 2010

Dream Job: Amphibian Avenger

by Leslie Taylor


Video by SmithsonianVideos

Nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are at risk of extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and -- especially -- diseases such as chytridiomycosis. In this video, Brian Gratwicke, an amphibian conservation specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, talks about his work with the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, an organization that recently became the first to breed the critically endangered La Loma tree frog, Hyloscirtus colymba, in captivity.

In a statement, researchers explain their strategies for helping frog species survive their current dire situation:

The mission of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project is to rescue amphibian species that are in extreme danger of extinction throughout Panama. The project’s efforts and expertise are focused on establishing assurance colonies and developing methodologies to reduce the impact of the amphibian chytrid fungus so that one day captive amphibians may be reintroduced to the wild.

Learn more about the participants in the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project:
Africam Safari, Panama’s Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Defenders of Wildlife, El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, Houston Zoo, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Summit Municipal Park and Zoo New England.

Learn more about endangered frogs and conservation efforts -- and see more videos, amazing photos, and information about how you can help -- at http://amphibianrescue.org/

About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is Science Friday’s Web editor. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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