ABOUT Project Lemur Frog
Project Lemur frog has been an international collaboration between several committed individuals and institutions aimed at conserving Critically Endangered Costa Rican Lemur leaf frogs. This model project used a holistic approach to amphibian conservation, including ex-situ conservation in the form of a professionally managed captive assurance colony, a cutting edge conservation research aspect, and a myriad of highly effective public engagement activities.
Some of the key aims and objectives of Project Lemur Frog are highlighted below:
– To promote the conservation of the species by raising public awareness of the species conservation needs through a coordinated approach with the media through the publicity departments of all participating institutions and on the web.
– To support the conservation of last known wild populations of the frog in Costa Rica, through habitat protection, restoration, and modification, and by developing support for and promoting in-situ conservation work of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre.
– To support research to assess the overall level of genetic diversity in the wild population using genetic markers that have been developed as part of this project and use related information to assist in both in-situ and ex-situ population management.
WHAT IS BCA ZOO DOING TO HELP:
BCA Zoo has directly supported Project Lemur Frog by co-funding two students to be able to undertake field work in Costa Rica which involved DNA swabbing of lemur frog tadpoles. The tadpole swabbing had given an insight into the wild populations genetic diversity and in addition provides us with more information regarding the current captive populations.
The DNA work supported by BCA Zoo has also led to our involvement in the publishing of a scientific journal entitled ‘Characterisation of 9 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Critically Endangered lemur leaf frog Agalychnis lemur’. The paper can be read here.
We have also had a degree of success in breeding the lemur leaf frog at the zoo. Having these frogs here has allowed us to raise awareness of the species to our students and members of the public. It is also our intention to develop some captive husbandry guidelines for the species so that we can share our success.