A Frog Love Shack

While humans may need flowers, chocolate, and a candlelit dinner to get in the mood for love, amphibians have quite different requirements. The Bristol Zoo Garden in England has designed what it calls the AmphiPod to encourage frog love. The zoo opened this special “love shack” to breed two endangered frog species—the Lemur Leaf frog and the Golden Mantella.

Lemur Leaf Frog ( Hylomantis lemur), Ron Holt, Courtesy Atlanta  Botanical Garden

The mating chambers will provide a safe home for these frogs, which are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

In this BBC video Amanda Parr takes a look around the new facility with the Bristol Zoo’s Curator of Reptiles, Tim Skelton, giving her tour a Valentine’s Day spin.

As Skelton says of the project:

Until a solution is found to help stop the [chrytid] fungus in the wild, the safekeeping and captive management of threatened amphibians is the only way to ensure their long-term survival.

Our new AmphiPod will allow us to keep frogs in a safe, isolated environment, away from any threat of disease, as well as giving our keepers the opportunity to learn the techniques required for the specialist amphibian care we can provide in the AmphiPod. In future we will be able to provide a safe haven to other amphibian species in immediate danger of extinction.

However, the Zoo is still £30,000 short of the target amount which will help pay for the continued cost of running the facility for the next three years. For a Valentine’s gift with a difference, why not make a donation towards the Zoo’s “love shack”?

To find out how you can help, please see the Bristol Zoo Gardens website for more information.

Image: , Lemur Leaf Frog (Hylomantis lemur), Ron Holt, Courtesy Atlanta  Botanical Garden, from the Amphibian Ark site