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In World First, English Museum Successfully Breeds Endangered Harlequin Toad


Herpetologists at the Manchester Museum have successfully raised a critically endangered harlequin toad for the first time.

Brain Gratewick, CC 2.0 license

Scientists successfully recreated the habitat harlequin tadpoles grow in after years of meticulous work.

The breeding program will ensure that at least one of these charismatic amphibians, the Veragoa hoofed toad, has a fail-safe mechanism for its survival should something happen to it at its home in the Central American rainforest.

The gender atelopus, colloquially known as the harlequin toads, almost all range from endangered to critically threatened according to the IUCN Red List, and are found in the rainforests of South and Central America.

The breeding program in Manchester is the only one of its kind, as toads are rare and difficult to study. Herpetologists studied the conditions under which Atelopus varius They lay their eggs, which turned out to be turbulent streams filled with boulders and stones, of a certain temperature and humidity level in the air, and bathed in a certain spectrum of light that allows the growth of a tropical alga that the tadpoles eat when they are young.

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“The university is the only institution outside of Panama that houses these frogs. It is a great responsibility that the team does not take lightly, ”said Andrew Gray, curator of herpetology at the Manchester Museum. the Guardian. “So we are on the moon, we have achieved the first captive breeding of this remarkable species. Our success heralds the next chapter for more innovative amphibian conservation work. “

The beautiful toad, with its glossy black fur and wavy golden bands, is just one of 68 species under the atelopus gender.

Fieldwork began in 2018 in and around the Santa Fe National Park, with the collaboration of Conservation of the wildlife of Panama (PWC) which for its part is trying to save the Veragoa stubfoot toad host workshops for schoolchildren in rural areas.

They believe that if the next generation understands the inherent value of harlequin toads, there will be a better chance that they will work to protect them when they grow up and inherit society.

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The Manchester Museum is trying to raise funds to continue the improvement project through various methods, including the Sponsor a frog program, (it’s a toad though) that has some great perks, including a personal behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s nursery where you can see and learn all about how toads are kept, what they need to survive, and more.

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