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Species of the Day – Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki)

December 20, 2012

Species of the Day - Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki)

Panamanian Golden Frog is a small, brightly coloured frog with distinctive black blotches on the upperside and sides of its body, as well as on its limbs.This frog is a critically endangered toad which is endemic to Panama.

Panamanian Golden Frog is a terrestrial species of tropical montane forest, with breeding and larval development taking place in forest of the golden arrow poison frog is mainly composed of a varied mixture of small invertebrates

The major threat is likely to be chytridiomycosis, which has led to catastrophic population declines in many other species of montane Atelopus. The deforestation of habitat for both agriculture and general infrastructure development, water pollution, and over collection for the pet trade are also threats to this species.

“Project Golden Frog” is a conservation project involving scientific, educational, and zoological institutions in the Republic of Panama and United States.The species was filmed for the very last time in the wild in 2007 by the BBC Natural History Unit for the series Life in Cold Blood by David Attenborough. Panamanian golden frog is something of a national symbol, appearing on state lottery tickets and in local mythology.In 2010 the Panamanian Government passed legislation recognizing August 14 as National Golden Frog Day.

Panamanian Golden Frog is protected in Panama by national legislation decree No. 23 of January 30, 1967. It has been recorded from the protected areas of Parque Nacional Altos de Campana and Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos Herrera. A successful captive-breeding programme involving many zoos in North America is in place. An ex-situ population of this species is held at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama

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