Changing Planet

Green-and-Black Golden Frog Born at Bronx Zoo


WCS photo by Julie Larsen Maher

Meet one of the more amazing offspring at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo World of Reptiles exhibit — a critically endangered Panamanian golden frog toadlet.

The baby frog’s skin is not the golden color of the adult, but rather green and black to match the moss growing around its Montane stream habitat, WCS said in a statement released with the photos. “This color variance provides the advantage of camouflage for youngsters. The golden color change comes about as the toadlet matures into a juvenile.”

 Breeding occurs during the dry season when the stream water flows at a slower rate, WCS added. “This species must have flowing water, however, for mating to take place. Interestingly, Panamanian golden frogs communicate with hand gestures — much like sign language.”

Adult females are about 4 to 5 inches, a bit larger than the males.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society operates both the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. The charity also funds conservation programs around the world.


WCS photo by Julie Larsen Maher

Panama’s golden frog is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Now researchers are fighting to save the rare amphibian from a naturally occurring — and deadly — fungus.

Watch this video about the Panamanian golden frog:


Video by Wild Chronicles, from National Geographic Mission Programs

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Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Rojo

    I wish to use your photos of the Panamanian Golden frog on my website.

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