Show Details

Harlequin Frog Release

June 21, 2017

Researchers release endangered Harlequin frogs back into the Panamanian rainforest.

Transcript

33990061113_aC

A tiny harlequin frog with a radio transmitter looks out on the Panamanian forest. (Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute/Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Returning endangered frogs to their homes.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

On a mossy stream bank in Panama, tiny Harlequin frogs take their first peek at the rainforest. Smithsonian conservation biologist Brian Gratwicke and his colleagues raised hundreds of the endangered frogs in tanks, safe from the lethal chytrid fungus that has been exterminating frogs worldwide. Now he’s releasing ninety of them back into an area with lower levels of the fungus.

BRIAN GRATWICKE (Smithsonian National Zoological Park):

This is super important for us to go into the next phase of our project. Now we’ve got successful breeding; the next stage is to get these frogs back into the wild.

HIRSHON:

Sixteen of the frogs wear little radio transmitters around their waists, so the researchers can track their movements. The work will inform future frog releases, as the researchers attempt to gradually restore Panama’s lost amphibian biodiversity. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon

LEARN MORE

dji_0020

The Mamoní Valley Preserve in Panama, home to the harlequin frog. (Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute/Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project)