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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news