Valerie C. Clark

By Drs. Valerie C. Clark and Patricia C. Wright of i.F.r.o.g.s. With forest destruction rampant in Madagascar, finding a good home is difficult for Nosy Be sportive lemurs. These nocturnal primates prefer spacious tree-hole housing to protect them from predators as they sleep all day, but big trees containing tree-holes are rare in degraded forests. Being critically...

Skin secretions collected from the Waxy Monkey Treefrog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) are used by the Matsés Indians of Peru for ‘hunter magic’–the secretions are burned into skin of humans, resulting in vomiting, passing out, then waking a few hours later to ‘feel like a god,’ ready to hunt! These indigenous people of the Amazon ‘milk’ the...

Belfast, Northern Ireland–After two years of doctoral studies in Northern Ireland, I have been dismayed at the lack of lucky leprechauns on the island of Ireland. But wait! This summer finally revealed something far more interesting: An army of frogs-a-leaping in the peat bogs of central Ireland. With the help of local children, we found...

In my last post, I began the story of my trip up Guyana‘s Wokomung Massif to the summit of Mt. Kopinang in search of new frog species. In particular, I was on the hunt for frogs with funky odors that repel would-be predators. I literally had my eye on the one above, a red and...

Last time I posted, I promised stories from my trip to Guyana in July 2007. I was on a quest for some of the country’s exotic (and toxic!) frogs with collaborator Bruce Means, Executive Director of the Coastal Plains Institute and an adjunct professor at Florida State University. Tropical rainforest covers more than 80 percent—80...

Lately, National Geographic has helped fund my research on toxic frogs in Madagascar‘s Ranomafana National Park. On a prior trip to that park, I encountered several snazzy reptiles to admire, including the aptly-named leaf tailed gecko, Uroplatus phantasticus, pictured above. No, that brown thing in the foreground isn’t a leaf—that’s really the gecko’s tail! This...