Rare frogs get luxury suite at Pretoria zoo

2013-05-18 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria is going to start a breeding programme with 10 critically endangered Pickersgill’s reed frogs to help save them from extinction, Beeld reported yesterday.

Peckersgill’s reed frogs, originally from only 18 small habitats in KwaZulu-Natal, have been identified as one of South Africa’s most endangered amphibians.

These tiny frogs, which only grow to about three centimetres in length, are listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN’s Red list of threatened species.

A special “frog room” had been equipped for the six-month project, the zoo’s reptile expert, Mike Adams, told the newspaper

“Because they are so small, conservation has been difficult,” the newspaper quoted Adams as saying.

The Johannesburg Zoo had caught 40 of the frogs, of which 10 had been moved to Pretoria.

“No one knows at this point how to breed the frogs, so with these 10 we hope to write a breeding manual so that the programme can be replicated elsewhere,” Adams said.

Pretoria zoo spokesperson Angeline Schwan said amphibians were among the most endangered species on earth.

“There are about 7 000 species, of which 3 900 are threatened and 170 are apparently already extinct,” she said.

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