Help the Amphibians
Frogs are in trouble! More than one-third of the world's amphibian species are considered threatened or endangered. For decades, scientists have studied the disappearance of amphibians and have even discovered some of the possible causes including global climate change, habitat loss and pollution. Recently, an emerging infectious disease known as the amphibian chytrid fungus has been shown to wipe out massive numbers of amphibans from pristine natural locations in many places around the world. This disease is currently unstoppable in the wild, but treatable in captivity.
Why should we care? Amphibians are not only a key component of the natural food chain, but are also considered indicators of overall environmental health. Efforts at the Atlanta Botanical Garden are focused on taking action against amphibian extinction while promoting education and research both at home and abroad. Rescue programs strive to give some amphibian species a lien on life. However, for many amphibians, time is of the essence!
The Atlanta Botanical Garden has partnered with the National Zoo in Santiago, Chile, to try to help save the endangered Darwin’s frogs. The overall aim of this project is to facilitate an integrated program including: (1) ex situ breeding efforts in Chile (at the zoo) and (2) in situ conservation work to preserve Darwin’s frogs (Rhinderma darwinii and R. rufum) through updates of population status, testing populations for infectious disease, and continuance of the search for R. rufum. Rhinoderma rufum has not been seen for some years now.