Rare frog breeds in captivity for the first time
March 3, 2008
A rare species of frog has been found breeding in captivity in New Zealand, reports the Associated Press. The finding offers hope that the species’ vulnerability to extinction can be reduced.
13 Maud Island froglets were discovered clinging to the backs of adult male frogs at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand, according to Kerri Lukis, a researcher at the facility. The species is limited to two islands in the Malborough Sounds region of New Zealand’s South Island. About 40,000 frogs are estimated to exist in the wild.
“Maud Island frogs have never been found breeding”, the Associated Press quote Lukis, a masters degree student at Victoria University in Wellington, as saying. “It’s wonderful timing for 2008 — International Year of the Frog and a Leap Year.”
Photo by Kerri Lukis of Karori Wildlife Sanctuary
The Maud Island frog one is of four frog species native New Zealand — all of which are threatened. The rarest, Hamilton’s frog, numbers less than 300. Alien species are one of the biggest threats to New Zealand’s native frogs.
Unlike most other frogs, young Maud Island frogs hatch from the egg as fully formed frogs without going through the tadpole stage.
This article uses quotes and information from the AP