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A Frog that Few Have Laid Eyes On

Posted on Jun 5, 2017

Here is a frog that few have ever laid eyes on – Legler’s Tree Frog (Ptychohyla legleri). This is one of the target species of RTPI Director Twan Leenders’ recent trip to the mountains of Costa Rica where he joined RTPI Research Associate Alex Shepack in surveys of imperiled amphibian populations. Legler’s Tree Frog is an endangered species with a very small and highly fragmented distribution range. It is the only species in its genus in lower Central America; its nearest relatives are found in northern Nicaragua and countries north of there. This recently metamorphed individual was found near the Panamanian border in a stream where several adult males could be heard calling, indicating that at least some populations of this rare species are seemingly doing alright still. However, their habitat is severely altered and careful monitoring is needed to ensure that these populations don’t decline.