High in the mountains of Panama, the golden frog used to be able to be seen waving to other frogs in the cool streams. Unfortunately, this frog is believed to have been extinct in the wild since the early 1990s.
Why do they need you?
Panamanian golden frogs are a national symbol in Panama and are viewed as symbols of good luck and fortune. Many experts believe golden frogs are extinct in the wild, owing largely to the spread of the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus and loss of suitable habitat.
Due to their bright colors and the idea that they bring good fortune, golden frogs were once illegally collected in large numbers to be displayed in shops and hotels.
While many zoos in the U.S., including Zoo Atlanta, house golden frogs and participate in breeding programs, the only place they can be seen in Panama is at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in El Valle de Anton. Project Golden Frog and its partners help support the Center’s efforts to breed and eventually reintroduce golden frogs to Panama’s forests.
How is Zoo Atlanta helping?
Zoo Atlanta helps support Project Golden Frog and its aim to eventually release golden frogs back into Panama’s forests through fundraising efforts. We also breed animals as one of many participants in the Panamanian Golden Frog Species Survival Plan®.
Assistant Curator of Herpetology
Robert Hill has travelled to Panama several times over the last decade assisting in on-the-ground conservation efforts for golden frogs and other amphibians. He serves as the fundraising coordinator for Project Golden Frog. He has also worked on a number of reptile and amphibian research and conservation projects in the southeastern U.S. and abroad.Meet Robert
How can you help?
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Simple steps like cleaning up your backyard and local bodies of water, carpooling to reduce pollution, and using green pesticides to reduce toxic water run-off can all help amphibians! They are an indicator species, which means they are sensitive to shifts in our environment and indicate when the environment is taking a turn.
- Do not buy wild-caught amphibians as pets.
- Never release an amphibian into the wild after it has been kept in captivity, as this can help spread diseases.
- Buy shade-grown coffee. Shade-grown practices are more sustainable and leave more available habitat for amphibians and other animals.
Want to learn more?
Check out www.ranadorada.org.
Beyond the Zoo
Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to saving species.
The global decline of species and their habitats makes it clear that we need a multifaceted approach to conservation. Zoos are a critical component of this approach, with a responsibility to be a force that drives action.View the Report
Panamanian Golden Frog
Panamanian golden frogs are native only to central Panama, where they have been viewed as symbols of good luck for...Learn More
El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center
At the end of July, I had the opportunity to travel to the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC for...Learn More