Jan 27

#LoveSpecies nominee: Macaya breast-spot frog

Nominated by: Durrell Wildlife Trust

Why do you love it?

Good things come in small packages and the diminutive Macaya breast-spot frog, one of the smallest frogs in the world, is definitely one. These beautiful red frogs inhabit the high altitude (1,700 – 2,340 masl) montane pine and cloud forests of Pic Macaya and Pic Formond in the Massif de la Hotte, Haiti. The males call can be heard throughout the day but are most prominent at night when it provides a background chorus of tinkling glass to the atmospheric forest. Importantly, the Macaya breast-spot frog is just one of 17 Critically Endangered and Endangered species endemic to the Massif de la Hotte making it arguably the most important site for amphibian conservation in the world.

Top facts

  • – Adults measure less than 15mm from snout to vent
  • – Females only lay around 3 eggs each which hatch directly into miniature versions of the miniature adults
  • – It was only rediscovered in 2010 having not been seen in nearly 20 years

What are the threats to the Macaya breast-spot frog?

It has a highly restricted range which is being threatened by habitat loss primarily for charcoal production and agriculture.

What are you doing to save it?

Yes, Durrell, along with Philadelphia Zoo is supporting local partner Société Audubon Haiti to undertake a series of amphibian surveys across the Macaya National Park as part of the National Parks Management Plan. These aim to better understand the diverse and highly threatened amphibian fauna found there and assess how habitat loss is impacting the various species. This information can then be used to improve the management of the National Park to both protect its endemic fauna and provide local people with the resources they require.

For more information on the work Durrell is doing to Save Amphibians From Extinction visit their website.

VOTE NOW!

 

May 25

The Whitley Fund for Nature holds an annual ceremony where pioneering conservationists around the world are honoured with an award recognising their achievement and given £35,000 (US$50,350) to continue their projects. We were lucky enough to be invited along to the ceremony to meet the finalists and find out more about their work. Each day this week we will release an interview from each of the winners on the Arkive blog and our Youtube channel. ENJOY!

Gilbert Baase Adum – Saving Ghana’s frogs: a giant leap forward for biodiversity conservation

Gilbert is the co-founder of Save the Frogs Ghana whose aim is to protect Ghana’s amphibian populations and promote a society that respects and appreciates wildlife. Over 80% of Ghana’s original rainforests have been cleared and a third of the country’s amphibians are under threat, yet Ghana has only two professional amphibian biologists (SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum and Caleb Ofori), and the amphibian population is relatively unstudied. Gilbert and his team were responsible for rediscovering the giant squeaker frog which you can hear Gilbert do a fantastic impression of in this video!

Find out more about Gilbert’s work on the Whitley Awards website

Discover more about Save the Frogs! Ghana

Feb 6

ICYMI: Arkive has compiled some of the biggest and most interesting headlines from this week.

The following article was originally published on Friday, Jan 30, 2015.

Successful strawberry frog dads die young

Strawberry poison frog, side profile

Researchers have found that male strawberry poison frogs who raise more offspring have a reduced longevity. They believe that the direct involvement in raising clutches contributes to a shorter lifespan.

View original article

 The following article was originally published on Saturday, Jan 31, 2015.

Whales hear through their bones, San Diego study finds

Southern right whale

The skulls of at least some baleen whales have acoustic properties that capture the energy of low frequencies and direct it to their ear bones. These findings might help legislators decide on limits to oceanic man-made noise.

View original article

 The following article was originally published on Sunday, Feb 1, 2015.

Planting drone to fight deforestation

Collecting seeds of a native tree species for reforestation

The first step is for the a drone to gather mapping data for areas chosen for reforestation. The second step is for the “planting” drone to propel biodegradable seedpods to the ground, which contains germinated seeds and necessary nutrients

View original article

The following article was originally published on  Monday, Feb 2, 2015.

Sometimes, protecting one species harms another

Humphead parrotfish

The humphead parrotfish is considered a vulnerable species that must be protected. However, they thrive in abundance at Palmyra Atoll where they consume dangerously large amounts of coral. It poses the question of how to protect both species.

View original article

The following article was originally published on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015.

Bringing rhinos back to Uganda, one calf at a time

Southern white rhinoceros

Rhinos were completely wiped out in Uganda by 1982. In 2005, however, six southern white rhinos were introduced to the Zhiwa Rhino Sanctuary. There are now fifteen rhinos.

View original article

The following article was originally published on Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015.

Tiger populations in Nepal can’t grow without more food and space

Bengal tiger portrait

Nepal has set a goal of having at least 250 Bengal tigers within its borders by 2022. Anti-poaching efforts, however, may not be enough since a recent study suggests that the tigers in Nepal lack the food and space to allow further population growth.

View original article

The following article was originally published on Thursday, Feb 5, 2015.

Rare pink pigeons baffled by ‘signal-jamming’ doves

Pink pigeon side profile

A new study found that pink pigeons mistake the calls of Madagascan turtle doves for rival male pink pigeons. Their mistake causes them to waste energy and may be one the reasons pink pigeons have failed to recolonize more of Mauritius.

Enjoy your weekend!

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA

 

 

May 31

Lemur leaf frog (Hylomantis lemur)

Species: Lemur leaf frog (Hylomantis lemur)

Status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Interesting Fact: The lemur leaf frog has the remarkable ability to change colour depending on whether it is active or resting.

More information: The lemur leaf frog is a tiny, highly threatened amphibian from Central America. This species is primarily nocturnal, and spends the day well hidden on leaves. During the day, this frog is a vibrant leaf-green colour, changing to red-brown when it is active. At night, the lemur leaf frog walks stealthily among low vegetation in search of its invertebrate prey. This species breeds during the rainy season, and the female lays between 15 and 30 eggs on leaves that hang over water. After the eggs have hatched, the larvae are washed into the watercourse during heavy rain. This Critically Endangered amphibian is currently found in Costa Rica and Panama, and marginally in Colombia. In Costa Rica this frog is only known from three sites.

The lemur leaf frog has undergone a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80 percent loss over a 10 year period. While pigments in the skin of the lemur leaf frog are thought to grant it some resistance, the decline of this species is thought to be due to chytridiomycosis, a disease that is responsible for global amphibian population crashes.  This frog is also threatened by deforestation, especially in Costa Rica.

In Panama, this species is known to exist within at least six protected areas, whereas the habitats of the Costa Rican populations remain unprotected. A captive breeding programme began in 2001 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which has been highly successful and has since transferred individuals to other zoos to continue the effort. Other breeding programmes exist at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama, and the Manchester Museum in the United Kingdom.

Find out more about the lemur leaf frog and other species of South America

See images of the lemur leaf frog on ARKive

Find out more about amphibian conservation

Ben Hogan, Wildscreen ARKive PIPS Intern

Apr 4

Angel’s Madagascar frog (Boehmantis microtympanum)

Species: Angel’s Madagascar frog (Boehmantis microtympanum)

Status: Endangered (EN)

Interesting Fact: Angel’s Madagascar frog is not known to produce any vocalisations and its external ear drum is much smaller than in most frog species.

More information: Angel’s Madagascar frog is a large-bodied frog species that has a marbled green-brown or grey pattern on the upper surface of its body, perfectly camouflaging it against the abundant moss-covered rocks in its habitat.

The impressive yet infrequent energetic movements of this species are only used when an individual is disturbed, and Angel’s Madagascar frog is relatively sedentary for the majority of the time. The main prey items of this species include insects, small freshwater crustaceans and smaller frogs, which it hunts for at dusk and generally devours whole. This long-living amphibian can live for up to seven years.

Local extinctions of Angel’s Madagascar frog have already occurred due to the extensive destruction of forest habitats throughout its range, especially in southeast Madagascar. As well as habitat loss and degradation, the introduction of an invasive eucalyptus species has also led to population declines in this species.

The range of Angel’s Madagascar frog includes two protected areas, the Andohela and Midongy-du-Sud National Parks, although further protection of this species’ habitat would be highly beneficial for its conservation. Promoting sustainable forestry practices within the local community would also help to mitigate the extensive habitat destruction that continues to remove huge expanses of naturally occurring forest across Madagascar.

Find out more about amphibians on the IUCN Red List

Find out more about conservation in Madagascar

See images of Angel’s Madagascar frog on ARKive

Hannah Mulvany, ARKive Content and Outreach Officer

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