Environmentalists receive bad news, as the last member of a rare tree frog species has recently died. The tiny amphibian was hosted by a botanical garden in Georgia. The incident happened last week, and the frog was the only specimen in captivity. Specialists are concerned that the species might go extinct.
Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia had a hopper resident called Toughie. It was a male Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, which is scientifically called Ecnomiohyla rabborum. No other member of its kind is reported in botanical gardens, zoos or special parks. Specialists fear for the worst, as their records don’t show any signs of the species living in the wild.
Employees at the Atlanta Botanical Garden found Toughie dead during an inspection. They didn’t expect for such a thing to happen, although the amphibian had a considerable age. According to caretakers, the rare tree frog was approximately twelve years old.
Specialists at the Atlanta Botanical Garden did their best to provide the rare tree frog with proper conditions. Toughie lived in a special enclosure which kept it separate from other animals and disturbing factors.Visitors were not allowed in that area of the garden because it was dedicated to critically endangered species, such as the tree frog.
At the garden, Toughie didn’t like humans much. He didn’t like to be touched, so caretakers had to bare that in mind. However, part of their tasks was to monitor the health status of the frog by weighing it every week.
Toughie originated from Panama, and a group of conservationists brought it to the Atlanta Botanical Garden eleven years ago. Back then, in 2005, specialists went on a trip in Panama trying to save frog species from a disease which severely decimates their populations, namely the chytrid fungus.
However, researchers are still concerned about the situation of all amphibians in the wild. The population in Panama was devastated by the disease. Other areas in the world are also affected by it, which leads to the decline of frog population.
Apart from the chytrid fungus, frogs have to face other threats too. The loss of natural habitat is one of the major concerns of environmentalists with frogs, as well as other species too. Human activities also contribute to this phenomenon, by deforestation and draining bodies of water.
As far as the situation of amphibians is concerned, there is good news too. Specialists have recently announced that the populations of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs show signs of improvement.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia