Isthmohyla tica Starrett’s Tree Frog

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Starrett’s Tree Frog Isthmohyla tica

Andreas Hertz, an expert on Panama’s amphibians, and his colleague Alex Shepak visited us in early January. This was Andreas’s 3rd visit to Mount Totumas surveying amphibians.

The Pandemic of chytrid fungus (Chytridiomycosis) effecting many amphibian species around the world is a focus of Andreas’s work. Many species formerly common in Central America are now feared extinct, a few have bounced back.

During their visit Andreas located a critically endangered Tree Frog, the Starrett’s Tree Frog Isthmohyla tica. This frog has not been seen on the Pacific side of Panama or Costa Rica in over 10 years. Here is the red list IUCN reference of this species:

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/55675/0

There is hope that the remnant populations of this and other critically endangered amphibian species are made up of individuals with disease resistance. This may enable some species to bounce back. For this reason Andreas and Alex were taking tissue swap samples for further investigation.

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Andreas taking a swab sample.
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Alex preparing a sample.

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This individual represents hope for this critically endangered species.

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