Searching for Dominica’s Critically Endangered Frogs*

I am re-blogging this post, which was originally written in September 2012, as the piece that immediately follows it provides an update on the ongoing critical, but hopeful situation with respect to Dominica’s Mountain Chicken frogs as of May 2015.

Ti Domnik Tales

This adult female Mountain Chicken (aka Crapaud) has just had her dinner. The leg of an insect dangles from her mouth!

On a drizzly Monday evening in late August, I accepted an invitation to observe wildlife researchers in action. Their quest to track down a particular species was somewhat out of the ordinary. These specialists were looking around in the dark in the hope of finding a critically endangered frog called the ‘Crapaud’ (pronounced Craw-poe), in local Creole language.  It’s commonly known as the  Mountain Chicken, and is highly regarded as a national symbol that is found on Dominica’s Coat of Arms. But sadly, to actually see or hear one in its natural habitat these days is extremely rare.  Since 2002, their once prolific numbers have rapidly declined by about 90%,  due to a new fungal disease called chytridiomycosis (or ‘chytrid’ for short).  And right now, they’re  on the…

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