Zoo celebrates amazing amphibians on World Frog Day!
Published: 17th Mar 2014Keepers at Newquay Zoo are offering visitors the chance to find out more about our fantastic frogs with a series of talks starting on World Frog Day (20th March 2014). The Zoo has…
Keepers at Newquay Zoo are offering visitors the chance to find out more about our fantastic frogs with a series of talks starting on World Frog Day (20th March 2014).
The Zoo has successfully bred a group of Black-legged Poison Dart frogs (Phyllobates bicolor), the 2nd most deadly frog species in the world – just 150 micrograms of their deadly poison is enough to kill an adult human!
These amazing animals are part of the Poison Dart frog family which are the most colourful of all frog species. The bright colours evolved to deter predators, and the toxic substance which they excrete through their skin is absorbed from insects and leaves at the bottom of the food chain. During breeding season, male frogs will ‘sing’ to attract females, a sound reminiscent of a dial-up modem (remember those?).
As well as the black-legged Poison Dart frogs, the keepers in the tropical house also care for many other species including, Bamboo Tree frogs, Long-nosed horn frogs, Mossy frogs, Bumble-bee poison dart frogs, and the Yellow and blue poison dart frog.
There are almost 5000 species of frog worldwide, but Amphibians are in crisis globally due to the Amphibia Chytid infection, which is expected to kill 30% of the Worlds’ frog population over the next 20 years. All of the zoos’ breeding activity takes place in a sterile environment, and while some of the species cared for and bred at Newquay Zoo are not considered endangered, breeding programs allow keepers to develop conservation models, which can then be applied to the protection of threatened species in the future.
Senior Tropical House keeper, Tristen Holmes, said,: "Frogs are a real favourite amongst both staff and visitors, and our talks to celebrate World Frog Day will give us a great excuse to talk about them! Individual species require very specialised knowledge and care, but we hope that our experience with breeding and husbandry will enable us to make a contribution to research and conservation programs in the future – Frogs need our help!’
Although frogs are amphibians, many will spend their entire lives on land, however they all return to water to reproduce - tadpoles need an aquatic environment to survive and grow.
Find out more at the specialist talks held in the Tropical House at 11am & 3pm, from Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd March.