Snail passes tree frog, video


Ab Wisselink from the Netherlands, the maker of this video, writes about it (translated):

On May 13 [2015], I photographed a tree frog sitting sunbathing on a blackberry bush in a new nature reserve of the State Forestry in Halle-Heide (Achterhoek region).

From the right underside a snail entered the picture, crawling, and passed the tree frog, neatly according to the traffic rules on the left side. The frog moved aside a bit, but otherwise let it happen quietly, and the snail seemed to have no trouble finding its way with between the sharp blackberry thorns. Wonderful to experience!

Little ringed plover and young frog


This video is about black woodpeckers making their nest.

We had seen a black woodpecker; on 2 May, in a coniferous forest near the Holtveenslenk lake. I personally saw just a silhouette of the bird flying away.

After 4 May 2015, came 5 May in and around Dwingelderveld national park in Drenthe province.

We went to the southern Kloosterveld part. Still barn swallows flying around. However, now after the rain, there are many more puddles than on 3 May. So, the swallows now are able to drink and to collect nesting material at many more places than before; making photographing them harder than before.

Moss, 5 May 2015

The moss is not harder to photograph here now than earlier.

A yellowhammer on the grass.

Willow warbler and chiffchaff singing.

So does a skylark. And a song thrush.

A curlew calls.

A shelduck rests on the lakelet bank.

Behind it, Egyptian geese.

Two grey lag geese flying overhead.

On the northern bank of the next lake, a common sandpiper.

Little ringed plover, 5 May 2015

And a little ringed plover.

Two shelducks swimming between black-headed gulls.

Sound of a pheasant. And of an edible frog.

Stonechat male, 5 May 2015

On a pole, a male stonechat. It flies to a wire; then, to another pole.

Young pool frog, 5 May 2015

Then, a juvenile pool frog.

We arrive back at Lanka park. A red squirrel at the feeder.

Blackbird female, 5 May 2015

Then, a female blackbird; cleaning her feathers after lots of rain.

Common frogs’ mating season again


This video is about common frogs‘ mating season in the Netherlands.

Daniël van de Velde made the video.

‘Kermit-like’ frog discovery in Costa Rica


This video from the USA says about itself:

Newfound species of frog has eyes like Kermit

20 April 2015

The frog, found in Costa Rica, has translucent skin and eyes that many people say resemble those of the world’s most famous frog.

From Discovery.com:

Real-Life Kermit the Frog Found in Costa Rica

04/20/15

Wildlife researcher Brian Kubicki has identified a new species of glass frog that bears a striking resemblance to everyone’s favorite childhood frog. Discovered in Costa Rica, Hyalinobatrachium dianae is easily identifiable by its lime green flesh, translucent underside and large, Kermit-like eyes.

H. dianae was discovered in the Talamanca mountains; it is the first new species of glass frog to be discovered in Costa Rica in over 40 years. Kubicki posits that the frog remained hidden from researchers for so long thanks to its mating call, which more closely resembles that of insects than frogs.

No word yet if there is a Miss Piggy look-alike pig also residing in the same jungle.

Click here for more information from The Tico Times.

Miss Piggy-like pigs are not in jungles in Costa Rica, as far as I know. Collared peccaries, related to pigs, do live there.

The scientific description of the new frog species is here.

See also here.

Saving Panama amphibians


This video says about itself:

Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project’s New Rescue Lab

8 April 2015

Dr. Brian Gratwicke, international coordinator for the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project and SCBI amphibian research scientist.

April 8, 2015—Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) scientists working together as part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (PARC) opened a new safe haven for endangered amphibians today, April 8. The state-of-the-art, $1.2 million amphibian center at STRI’s Gamboa field station is the largest amphibian conservation facility of its kind in the world. The new center expands on the capacity of the El Valle amphibian conservation center to implement a national strategy to conserve Panama’s amphibian biodiversity by creating captive assurance populations.

Panama is a biodiversity hotspot for amphibians with more than 200 species of frogs, salamanders and caecilians.

For the past 20 years, however, many of Panama’s unique and endemic amphibian species have declined or disappeared as a result of the deadly chytrid fungus that has spread throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, a third of amphibian species in Panama are considered threatened or endangered. Amphibian conservationists around the world have been working to establish captive populations of the world’s most vulnerable amphibian species to safeguard them from extinction. Since 1980, 122 amphibian species are thought to have gone extinct worldwide, compared to just five bird species and no mammals during the same period.

“Our biggest challenge in the race to save tropical amphibians has been the lack of capacity,” said Brian Gratwicke, amphibian scientist at SCBI and international coordinator of PARC. “This facility will allow us to do so much more. We now have the space needed to safeguard some of Panama’s most vulnerable and beautiful amphibians and to conduct the research needed to reintroduce them back to the wild.”

The center features a working lab for scientists, a quarantine space for frogs collected from the wild and amphibian rescue pods capable of holding up to 10 species of frogs. In the working lab, SCBI scientists will continue research focusing on things like a cure for chytrid. They published findings last month in Proceedings of the Royal Society showing that certain Panamanian golden frogs were able to survive infection with chytrid as a result of a unique skin-microbe community already living on their skin. Seven amphibian rescue pods house the amphibian collection and colonies of insects needed to feed them. Amphibian rescue pods are constructed from recycled shipping containers that were once used to move frozen goods around the world and through the Panama Canal; they have been retrofitted to become mini-ecosystems with customized terrariums for each frog species.

“Our project is helping implement the action plan for amphibian conservation in Panama, authored by Panama’s National Environmental Authority—now Environment Ministry—in 2011,” said Roberto Ibañez, STRI project director for PARC. “This is only possible thanks to the interest in conservation of amphibian biodiversity by the government of Panama and the support we have received from businesses in Panama.”

The new rescue lab will be crucial to ongoing breeding efforts and breakthroughs, such as the successful hatching of an Andinobates geminisae froglet. SCBI and STRI scientists hatched the first A. geminisae froglet in human care in one of the amphibian rescue pods at the existing Gamboa amphibian conservation center. The tiny poison frog species, smaller than a dime, was discovered and described for the first time in Panama in 2014. They simulated breeding conditions in a rescue pod. The new facility will provide much-needed space to grow and expand, allowing them to build assurance populations for many more species. A small exhibition niche provides a window directly into an active rescue pod, where visitors can see rescued frogs and scientists as they work to conserve these endangered frogs.

PARC is a partnership between the Houston Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Zoo New England, SCBI and STRI. Funding for the new facilities was provided by Defenders of Wildlife, Frank and Susan Mars, Minera Panama, the National Science Foundation and USAID.

As a research facility, PARC is not open to the public. However, there are interpretive panels and a window into the research pod where visitors can get a glimpse of the project in action. To learn more, the public is welcome to visit the new Fabulous Frogs of Panama exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Punta Culebra Nature Center, located on the Amador Causeway.

Good Dutch kingfisher news


This is a video from Belarus about a kingfisher eating a frog.

Translated from the Dutch SOVON ornithologists:

Friday, April 10th, 2015

In 2014 the little kingfisher made a giant leap forward. Estimated at around 370 pairs in 2013, the numbers shot up. The first estimate for 2014 on the basis of breeding bird censuses for Sovon amounts to roughly 700 pairs. Thanks to the two recent mild winters, you are more and more likely to see a blue flash speeding along. 2015 may very probably become a record year again.

Common frogs mating season


This video shows a female common frog, with a male on either side of her.

Only the male on the female’s back will fertilize her spawn.

Bert Verbruggen in the Netherlands made this video.