Showing posts from March, 2011

Conservation update: Gopher frog head-starting

Well over 900 Gopher frog tadpoles are now hatched, feeding, and growing like weeds.  A group of these will populate the upcoming Gopher frog exhibit in the Fuqua Orchid Center.  The exhibit will allow guests a view of the actual subjects of our head-start project as they grow up.  There will also be a view of the behind-the-scenes area where the project is conducted and informational signage will explain the project to visitors.
We hope you come by to  view the exhibit and learn about the Garden’s efforts to support this rare species.  The exhibit should be ready for public view by late April 2011

Notes from the field: Robert in Fall Line Sandhills, GA (part 2)

Robert's Hill, one of the Garden's amphibian specialists, has been in the field over a month already this field season and has another contribution of photos for the blog's species list:

A new documentary addressing amphibian declines

The film crew spent several days here, filming throughout the Garden and Zoo Atlanta as well as joining Robert Hill in the field at the Gopher frog (Lithobates capito) collection site in south Georgia.

The gopher frogs are here!

This weekend, Robert Hill and Joe Mendelson from Zoo Atlanta were able to collect several Gopher frog egg masses (see Robert's post last week for details regarding the Gopher frog head start initiative here in GA)

We are excited to have them around this spring and summer, where they will be carefully looked after before being released back into the wild as newly metamorphosed froglets.

Notes from the field: Dante in the Ozarks

'I have been working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service doing bioinventory work in Ozark caves.  I have attached a few images of some of the subterranean wildlife that we have encountered.  One of my jobs is to perform Ozark Blind Cave Fish (Amblyopsis rosae) surveys in known localities for USFWS. This species is a federally listed endangered species endemic to the Ozark Plateau Ecoregion.  I observed a baby Amblyopsis and have attached an image of it.  We also surveyed state listed endangered cave crayfish (Cambarus tartarus and C. subterraneus) for the state of Oklahoma.  We managed to get the highest count ever recorded for a population of C. tartarus…a whopping 37 individuals.  The count was exciting because we found babies – the population is reproducing!  The last day of the cave work was spent looking at what may be a new species of blind cave fish in Arkansas.  Very exciting field work!' — Danté Fenolio, Ph.D.

UGA Herp Society visits the Garden

Last weekend, the University of Georgia's Herpetological Society came to visit us and get a behind the scenes tour of the Amphibian Conservation Program here. Here are some pics from the tour (more coming soon)

Notes from the field: Robert in Fall Line Sandhills, GA

“The recent rains have had me travelling to the Fall Line Sandhills Natural Area in southern Georgia to look for egg masses of the increasingly rare Carolina Gopher Frog (Lithobates capito).  These frogs typically migrate from their upland homes to ephemeral wetlands to reproduce following late winter and early spring showers.  
The Atlanta Botanical Garden, in partnership with the University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, Jones Ecological Research Center, and Zoo Atlanta, collect portions of wild Gopher Frog egg masses so that they can be reared in captivity.  The resulting tadpoles are grown until they metamorphose into froglets.  At this point they are transported to a Nature Conservancy preserve in south Georgia that has all of the right environmental conditions, but no Gopher Frogs.  We hope to establish a new population on this protected land, and if it is successful, we may be able to restore other populations of this rare and unique…