One of eleven currently recognised leaf frog species, the lemur leaf frog is Critically Endangered having disappeared from half its historic range.
Previously found across a large portion of Costa Rica, the lemur leaf frog (Agalychnis lemur) is now only known to occur in three locations within the country. The range extends across through Panama and into Colombia where declines are also being seen. The preferred habitat is pre-montane forest between 400 and 1600m elevation. The extent to which different threats are impacting the amphibians of the Central Valley is unknown. It is likely that humancaused habitat modification in combination with invasive plant species and the chytrid fungal disease are all contributing to declines in this and other species. Estimates suggest an 80% decline in numbers of the lemur leaf frog over the last ten years.
Having successfully bred the lemur leaf frog at Bristol Zoo we have been part of initiatives such as Project Lemur Leaf Frog. This has involved habitat management and considering reintroductions from captive populations. The uncertainty of the occupied range is now hampering conservation efforts and needs immediate action. As such, the main aim of our project is to understand the current range
of the lemur leaf frog within Costa Rica and the threats facing these remaining populations. During this process, we can also collect information on other threatened species in the region.
Our Lemur Leaf Frog project is kindly supported by Shaldon Wildlife Trust.
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