Zoo Springs Into Action To Save Frogs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Zoo Springs Into Action To Save Frogs

Play associated audio
An endangered Lemur Leaf Frog hangs out on Matt Evans' fingertip. Evans is a biologist at the National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center.
An endangered Lemur Leaf Frog hangs out on Matt Evans' fingertip. Evans is a biologist at the National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center.

By Sabri Ben-Achour

The National Zoo is carrying out a frog rescue operation to save amphibians from a deadly fungus that's spreading world wide.

In a misty tank at the National Zoo, some Panamanian Golden Frogs are wrestling. It's not something you'd see in the wild anymore.

"Well we're in the midst of a crisis right now," says Brian Gratwick is the amphibian conservation biologist at the National Zoo.

"There's a fungus that's wiping out a lot of the frogs around the world. We think about 90 of 122 species that have gone extinct since 1980 have gone extinct because of this fungus," he says.

Scientists think it was introduced with imported frogs from Africa. So biologists around the world are in rescue mode. National Zoo biologist Matt Evans is one of them, he just got back from the most isolated cloud forests of Panama to find frogs before the fungus does.

Some are being kept in giant shipping containers in Panama that have been converted into quarantine facilities. Others are here, in the basement, in a sterile room the zoo has tanks of it's own. Each are full of tiny, fingernail sized baby Panamanian golden frogs.

"This is basically the future of keeping this species alive in the long term," says Evans.

Until a cure is found for the fungus, this is how at least 50 species of frog will remain on the planet.

NPR

Picasso, Nazis And A Daring Escape In 'My Grandfather's Gallery'

As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.