Biologists from The University of Manchester have teamed up with experts at Chester Zoo in the hope that their findings will not only help save the splendid leaf frog Cruziohyla calcarifer from extinction in the wild but provide clues as to how it can be better catered for in zoos and aquariums.
Loss of habitat in its native Costa Rican rainforest, combined with global declines in amphibian populations generally through a combination of environmental change and disease, have all contributed to the splendid leaf frog’s precarious situation.
“This research aims to contribute to our understanding of the basic factors that influence the development and survival of these frogs,” said Dr Richard Preziosi, a lecturer in the University’s Faculty of Life Sciences, who is supervising the project.
“For instance, with the exception of certain mammals, we know surprisingly little about what animals should be eating. And yet the diet of splendid leaf frogs affects their colouration which, in turn, determines their mating behaviour.
“The global decline in amphibian populations means research such as this, carried out ex situ, is therefore critical for both conservation projects in the wild and for maintaining and successfully breeding the frogs in zoos and aquariums.”
The research at Chester Zoo is being complemented by field studies being conducted by Dr Preziosi and Manchester Museum’s Curator of Herpetology, Andrew Gray, in the Costa Rican jungle.
“The combination of our fieldwork and the project at Chester Zoo will provide us with a much better idea of the nutritional requirements of this species,” said Dr Preziosi.
“In the wild these animals live in the tree canopy of the rainforest and are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, so this study will also examine the effect that ultraviolet rays have on the fitness and viability of captive-bred frogs.”
Nearly a third of the world’s 6,000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction and more than 120 species have already vanished from the planet.
Across the globe, conservation organisations and professionals are mobilising efforts to help save as many of these species as possible.
As part of the response, a new organisation known as the Amphibian Ark (AArk) has been set up to help other conservation organisations assist in the effort.
Kevin Buley, Head of Zoo Programmes at Chester, said: “This study will help benefit the conservation breeding of amphibians in European zoos and aquariums.
“As such, it will also help to save many critically endangered species from extinction as part of the global amphibian ark initiative.”
Aeron Haworth | alfa
Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News