Conservation Planning for Panamanian Golden Frogs

For hundreds of years, they’ve been considered symbols of good luck among native people of Panama. But in the last decade, the country’s golden frogs, Atelopus zeteki and A. varius, may have disappeared from their native rainforests in the mountainous western portion of the country. The primary culprit responsible for their near-extinction in the wild is chytrid fungus, which is decimating amphibian populations in many parts of the world. An effort is currently underway to save the species from extinction through intensive population management in rescue centers in Panama and in zoos and aquariums across North America. If the species is to be saved from extinction and returned to its native forests, close collaboration between in situ and ex situ conservation efforts will be critical.

To help facilitate this effort, Project Golden Frog and the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project have invited CBSG to facilitate a conservation planning workshop in El Valle, Panama this week. The priority actions agreed to at the meeting will provide a framework for in situ habitat conservation, education, and potential recovery projects, including the possibility of returning frogs to Panamanian facilities from North American ex situ populations.

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