Thursday, 22 September 2016

Artificial rain storm helps rare frogs get frisky

By WMNAGreenwood | Posted: September 21, 2016

By Herald Reporter

Keepers have bred a critically endangered colour-changing frog by using artificial rain storms.

It is the first time the lemur leaf frog, found mainly in the rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama, has been bred at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

A team from the zoo prepared a rain chamber using a water pump and timer system to make it rain every few hours during the day.

The rainfall and humidity helped replicate the kind of conditions the frogs would encounter at the start of the wet season, when they breed.

Andy Meek, a keeper from the zoo’s lower vertebrates and invertebrates department, said: “We have a total of 18 tadpoles, a number of which have now become full froglets.

“We also have 10 adults. The species is critically endangered. There is a studbook currently being set up to manage this species in Europe.

“This is a first for Paignton Zoo, so I’m really pleased.”

The zoo is one of only four collections in the UK working with the species.

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