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Zoo program could save dying frog species

December 29, 2008 3:35:24 PM PST
At Brookfield Zoo there's some big excitement over some very tiny creatures. They are called Panamanian golden frogs and in the wilds of Central America they have virtually disappeared. They might be extinct but the four little frogs at Brookfield just might help bring them back.

Brookfield Zoo's Feathers and Scales exhibit is closing out the year of the frog with a bit of hope that some dying species just might be saved. In a back room in small aquariums, four tiny Panamanian golden frogs are involved in a project that could save them and all their possible descendents.

"We got two pairs of Panamanian Golden Frogs and they are getting ready to enter the breeding season. And we're hoping they'll be able to reproduce. They are critically endangered species and we're hoping we'll be able to encourage them to reproduce and continue their species," said Tim Snyder, curator of birds & reptiles, Brookfield Zoo.

These one and a half inch frogs are like many other amphibians worldwide. They are dying off because of something called the chytrid fungus from which for frogs there is no cure.

The chytrid fungus unfortunately is now spreading around the world. So far it has wiped out hundreds of frog species, one of those the Panamanian golden frog. That's why programs such as the one at Brookfield Zoo are so important.


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