Vancouver Aquarium breeds endangered frog
The endangered Panamanian golden frog has been successfully bred at the Vancouver Aquarium. (DARREN SMY/VANCOUVER AQUARIUM)
The Vancouver Aquarium has successfully bred the poisonous and brightly coloured Panamanian golden frog as part of a global effort to save it from extinction.
The frog, which is actually a toad, has had its population decimated during the past decade due to the spread of an infectious fungal disease, as well as habitat deforestation and its desirability in the pet trade, according to the aquarium.
The frog, which lives in the mountainous region of western-central Panama, was given to the aquarium from the country’s government in March 2012, in an effort to save the species in the event it disappears permanently from the wild.
“Since this species is in critical danger of disappearing from its natural habitat, a number of institutions throughout the world, including ours, are working to maintain the genetic diversity of this species with the goal of one day re-populating their native ecosystem,” said Dr. Dennis Thoney, the aquarium’s director of animal operations.
The Panamanian golden frog is Panama’s national animal, being culturally associated with good luck and often appearing on lottery tickets, said the aquarium.
The final goal of the breeding program is to return the frogs back into their natural habitat once the fungal disease and other threats have been eradicated, the aquarium said.
The aquarium is part of the Amphibian Ark project, a combined effort of several global conservation organizations to protect the survival of amphibians.