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

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog