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PARC Project finds three potential new frog species

Many more species could be lost to deadly fungus unless quick action is taken


  • Three new frog species found by researchers in Panama
  • Rescue effort highlights need to accelerate conservation in face of deadly chytrid fungus
  • Defenders to continue pushing for increased amphibian protections in Latin America and abroad
WASHINGTON, DC (07/28/2010) -

A coalition of conservation organizations working on the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation (PARC) Project announced today that it has discovered three potential new species of frogs. The new species include two frogs from the genus Pristimantis--one with an unusual red stomach called the “red tomato” and another that's much larger than any other closely related species. A third frog is believed to be a new species of Craugastor, or robber frog, because of the unique markings on its arms and feet.

The following is a statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president for Defenders of Wildlife:

"The discovery of these new frog species in Panama shows us exactly what's at stake. Without dedicated efforts like the PARC Project, we could lose these beautiful creatures before we even know they exist. A confluence of factors including habitat loss, climate change and especially the chytrid fungus is wiping out amphibian species at an alarming rate. Our immediate goal has to be to rescue as many of them as possible before it's too late. But we must also address the long-term threats to their survival around the world and protect this unparalleled reservoir of biodiversity."


Pristimantis Craugastor
Pristimantis "red tomato" Craugastor
Photos © Brian Gratwicke / Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute  

Defenders of Wildlife has joined the PARC Project to help save frog species, establish assurance colonies and develop ways to combat the spread of chytrid fungus. Defenders has contributed funding for Brian Gratwicke, a research biologist with the Smithsonian National Zoo, to travel to Panama and serve as international coordinator for the rescue effort.


Read more about Defenders work to protect amphibians

Learn more about the PARC Project 

Read about a new study documenting amphibian decline in Panama


John Motsinger, (202) 772-0288