Pirri Harlequin Frog (Atelopus glyphus) on Facebook

Amphibian Ark has chosen Atelopus glyphus for the first ever Facebook fundraiser to save an endangered species.

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The goal is to raise $53,000 by June 2, 2009, for a species-specific rescue facility and costs associated with the first year of operation. The “amphibian pod” rescue facility will be based at the Summit Zoo in Panama City, Panama. It will begin with about 20 wild-caught breeding pairs, eventually reaching up to 500 frogs including captive-bred offspring. Initial breeding efforts at the El Valle del Anton Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama were successful, indicating this species is a good candidate for captive management until wild populations can be re-established.

The rescue facility itself consists of a 40′ shipping container, modified to include shelves, tanks, plumbing, an electrical system, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), a water heater, and a repressurization pump and water storage container, as well as a large window for public viewing. The container itself, plus modification, plus shipping to Panama and hooking up to utility lines, costs a total of approximately $41,000. The first year of operating costs will be $12,000.

The concept of using a modified shipping container as an “amphibian pod” rescue facility was pioneered in Australia. The Summit Zoo hopes eventually to use a number of these “amphibian pods” to house more colonies of endangered amphibians from the central region of Panama, where chytrid has had a severe impact.

Recent addition to AmphibiaWed; read more at AmphibiaWeb

Kirtland Peterson

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