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The first frogs in our facility: Sweet Success

Once all of the environmental systems in our captive breeding facility checked out, we added our first group of frogs.  Somewhat surprisingly, the frogs immediately began enacting reproductive behavior.  We had calling and a bit of dancing around between males and females.  We are happy to report that we already have at least one male frog holding developing young in his vocal sac!

When we collected our first group of Darwin's Frogs from the field, we used a cooler to keep the frogs at an appropriate temperature during the trip back to Santiago.

When we collected our first group of Darwin's Frogs from the field, we used a cooler to keep the frogs at an appropriate temperature during the trip back to Santiago.

This is the male Darwin's Frog that is holding developing young in his vocal sac.

This is the male Darwin's Frog that is holding developing young in his vocal sac.

This is the the female that we believe bred with our male.  Her job is now done.  Female frogs deposit eggs and the male frogs take over from there.  Males attend the developing eggs before taking their young into their mouths and on into their vocal sac.

This is the the female that we believe bred with our male. Her job is now done. Female frogs deposit eggs and the male frogs take over from there. Males attend the developing eggs before taking their young into their mouths and on into their vocal sac.

admin in Uncategorized on May 14 2010 » 14 comments
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  1. Mark W. says on May 15 2010 at 22:31:

    Congrats!! That is great news, and I can’t wait to hear about the froglets later.

  2. Kathy Richmond says on June 08 2010 at 20:11:

    Hi,

    Our teacher had us visit your website after we talked about amphibian conservation in class. Seeing how a conservation project comes together this way has been great. Good luck in the future!

    Kathy Richmond

  3. Claudia Salton says on June 08 2010 at 20:33:

    If someone wants to help your program, where do we go to make a donation?

    Thanks

    Claudia

  4. admin says on June 08 2010 at 20:51:

    Hi Claudia,

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, we do take donations for this project. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a private non-profit registered 501c3 – so your donation is tax deductable! Go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden website:

    http://www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org

    Click on “conservation” and then “amphibian research” in the upper orange banner…

    Scroll down and click on “Click here to visit the Amphibian Research donation page”

    Make sure to indicate in your message that the funds are for the Darwin’s Frog project.

    OR

    You can simply send a check in through the mail with a letter making it clear that you want the funds to be used for the Darwin’s Frog Project. Checks can be sent to:

    The Atlanta Botanical Garden
    Amphibian Conservation
    1345 Piedmont Ave. NE
    Atlanta, GA 30309

    Thanks!!

  5. Shane says on July 01 2010 at 19:35:

    Really, really, really good work!!

    Please keep it up.

    Shane

  6. Gonzalo Valdes says on July 22 2010 at 08:11:

    Are there any plans of sharing stock with other breeding facilities or zoos abroad, particularly from Europe?.

    How many different breeding lines do you intend to establish and how do you plan to cope with a possibly increased frequency of deleterious alleles?

    Is there any way to contact this project directly other than through this blog?

    Thanks.

  7. Matias says on August 01 2010 at 17:32:

    I’m very interested in Rhinoderma darwinii’s conservation. I’m currently studyng Biologia Ambiental and I’ve been reading a lot about this wonderful frog, thanks to professor A. Veloso who has borrowed me a lot of reading material
    Went to the zoo yesterday but it was impossible to see the frogs.

    I was wondering if by any chance I could go there again and meet someone who can tell me a little bit more about the work you’re doing, and maybe show me a frog so I can finally get to see one…

    Thanks in advance
    Matias Muñoz
    Biologia Ambiental (2do año)- Universidad de Chile

  8. Lucy Cooke says on August 17 2010 at 06:02:

    I have had the honour of joining EDGE fellow Claudio Soto on an expedition to Southern Chile to look for a swab Darwin’s frogs last November. It was an unforgettable trip and I was lucky enough to see individuals with tadpoles in their vocal sacs. I am concerned about the spread of Chytrid and the effect it will have on wild populations of Darwin’s frog. I’m therefore delighted to see that you have already had success with captive breeding efforts. Congratulations! I want to ask you though what theory you have for this reproductive strategy. Both the fact that the eggs metamorphosis inside the throat sac but most interestingly why it is the male that has evolved to do this.

    Keep up the good work!

    Lucy

  9. admin says on August 19 2010 at 16:57:

    Dear Gonzalo,

    Our goal is to produce captive bred frogs that are available for reintroduction efforts. Reintroductions are going to be the decision of the Chilean wildlife authorities. When we have breeding going at full tilt, we would be happy to consider a small number of animals for educational purposes.

    We hope to maintain at least three genetic lineages. Each of those lineages will ultimately include more than 50 individuals.

    Thanks for visiting the site and for your great questions!

  10. admin says on August 19 2010 at 17:01:

    Dear Matias,

    We have sent you an email and will arrange an opportunity for you to see our facilities and the frogs. Great to have the interest in Santiago for these incredible creatures!

    Cheers and Thanks

  11. admin says on August 19 2010 at 17:10:

    Hi Lucy,

    Great to see you have enjoyed meeting Darwin’s Frogs in situ. There is no question that these frogs are special. With regard to your question, we don’t have a hypothesis for the evolutionary pathway that led to the internal parental care observed in Rhinoderma. Vocal sacs in males are places where small offspring could be stored. Marsupial frogs and other species are known to harbor their young in and on their bodies, so the general approach has been independently evolved a number of times. The parental care provided is exceptional because a predator would have to be big enough to take an adult to threaten the babies. But the details behind how the parental care evolved are not clear. We guess the same question could have been asked for Australia’s gastric brooding frogs. It’s too bad they are gone; we could have learned so much from them at so many levels.

    Cheers and Thanks

  12. Ed says on June 08 2011 at 11:00:

    Wow, this is great news. I was hoping that an in-situ program for these frogs would get up and running before they disappeared forever. Keep up the good work.

    Ed

  13. Dieter B. says on June 08 2011 at 11:57:

    Glad I found your site and your project. Clearly important work here. At least somebody will preserve these animals from prosperity. BEst wishes and hopes for massive success!

  14. Vann DellG. says on April 04 2014 at 14:03:

    I can’t believe the baby frogs are even smaller than a finger! They are even cooler, too. I wish I had a club to join. Maybe you could start a kids club? But I learned about Darwin’s frogs in my science magazine, so that is pretty cool.

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