Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Big leap forward in breeding of rare frog


27 February 2013

Big leap forward in breeding of rare frog


Archey's adult

For the first time, New Zealand’s critically endangered Archey’s frog - the world’s most evolutionarily distinct amphibian - has been successfully bred from a long-term captive population at Auckland Zoo.

Seven Archey’s frog babies that hatched at the Zoo in early December from fertile eggs laid in October, are continuing to thrive. Over 50 million years old and described as “living fossils”, Archey’s frogs, like New Zealand’s other three endemic frog species, don’t have a tadpole stage like other frogs. Instead, the Archey’s ‘tadpole’ grows rudimentary limbs inside the egg, and then hatches out as an almost fully formed frog. The seven baby frogs, each just a half a centimetre long, have absorbed their yolk sacs and progressed to a diet of tiny invertebrates.

While Archey’s frogs have been bred twice before elsewhere in captivity, the babies – from adult frogs that had not long been collected from the wild - did not survive.

“It’s a massive step forward to finally breed these enigmatic and extremely sensitive little frogs after almost eight years,” says Auckland Zoo NZ Fauna curator, Richard Gibson.

Archeys frogs with fresh laid eggs



“While a slow process, perfecting husbandry and furthering our understanding of Archey’s reproductive biology is all part of developing a skill set that provides the best possible chance of conserving this frog in the wild – where it’s battling the combined threats of habitat disturbance, introduced predators, disease and climate change,” says Mr Gibson.

International experts agree the breeding of Archey’s frogs is a huge achievement.

Kevin Zippel, programme director of the Amphibian Ark (AArk) – a world body focussed on the global survival of amphibians using captive breeding for species that can’t be safeguarded in nature, says: “Conserving any species usually requires a whole range of actions and captive breeding is increasingly a requirement for many threatened amphibians. Auckland Zoo’s recent success with Archey’s frog is exciting news and represents an important breakthrough”.

Professor Jonathan Baillie, Director of Conservation Programmes at the Zoological Society and London and the driving force behind the EDGE of Existence – a programme set up to highlight and conserve one-of-a-kind species on the verge of extinction, says “breeding one of the most primitive and threatened species on the planet is an amazing achievement and a major breakthrough for conservation”. “It will help to ensure the future of the world’s most ‘Evolutionarily Distinct & Globally Endangered’ (EDGE) amphibian and its truly fascinating parenting practices,” says Professor Baillie.

Auckland Zoo is the only facility in the world to hold Archey’s frogs, which it does with the blessing of Hauraki whanui iwi and Marokopa-Kiritihere iwi.

While not currently on display, visitors to Auckland Zoo will soon be able to see adult Archey’s frogs in the Zoo’s Night Forest habitat within its New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:


Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news