Zoos leap into action to help save frogs

Scoop: Zoos leap into action to help save frogs

Image by  Paddy Ryan

Auckland Zoo is inviting Kiwis to join it in leaping into the global Amphibian Ark Year of the Frog campaign, which will be helping to save the four endangered New Zealand native frog species.

Tonight’s Wild Bean Cafe ZooMusic Katchafire concert will help raise funds for in-the-field testing for amphibian chytrid fungus in Hochstetter’s frogs. It marks the first of a number of events and activities the zoo will run through to March 2009 to generate awareness of and support for frog conservation.

After thriving for over 360 million years, a third of the world’s 6300 amphibian species are now threatened with extinction. Despite new species being discovered, scientists say extinctions are exceeding discoveries.

Topping the list as the most evolutionarily distinct and critically endangered amphibian on the planet is New Zealand’s own native Archey’s frog – for which Auckland Zoo has a dedicated breeding and research facility. New Zealand’s other three frog species – Hamilton’s, Maud Island, and Hochstetter’s all fall within the top 100 most threatened amphibians These, and thousands of other amphibians, are in crisis due to the deadly disease amphibian chytrid fungus (not treatable in the wild) as well as habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, introduced species, and climate change.

full media release on scoop

Archey’s frog with froglets , short video .

Hamilton Zoo celebrates rare NZ falcon

Scoop: Hamilton Zoo celebrates rare NZ falcon

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Hamilton Zoo has today released a NZ falcon chick at Kakepuku Mountain, celebrating the city’s first successful raising of this rare bird of prey.

Once widespread throughout New Zealand, there are now only isolated populations of 3000 to 4500 pairs nationwide, reflected by this bird’s classification as Vulnerable to Endangered. Hamilton Zoo is working with Kakepuku Mountain Conservation Society, DOC and other breeding centres in New Zealand to preserve this impressive species.

Hamilton Zoo has one breeding pair of NZ falcon and this signifies the zoo’s second attempt to raise chicks. In 2006, the breeding pair produced a clutch of eggs that did not result in chicks. On 28 December 2007, the pair produced three eggs which resulted in the fledgling chick.

full media release