#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.
- – 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.