Panamanian Golden Frog

Picture of Panamanian golden frog

The Panamanian Golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) we are told, has become extinct in Panama The frog is widely believed to have been totally wiped out by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)which is an infectious skin disease affecting frogs all over the world. Although called a 'frog' it is in fact a 'true toad'. It is still listed as a critically endangered species, but it could have been extinct in the wild since 2007.

Panamanian golden frogs communicate with each other through semaphore - a gentle waving of its foreleg - and also communicates through sound. This method of communicating is to signal to rivals and mates above the noise of the mountain streams. This particular frog lacks eardrums.

The frog is steeped into the mythology of Panama with locals believing that when the frog dies it turns to solid gold. Even a sighting of one is considered to be lucky and will bring good luck to those who see it. People in the region also collect the frog to take to their homes as it is considered so lucky, and of course this further exacerbates the problem of declining numbers of this creature.

The golden frog is still surviving in zoos, but unfortunately it is not known when the species will be able to return to its natural habitat, if ever, due to the devastating effects of the chytrid fungus.

golden toad mating

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