The Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division continue to work on ensuring that the mountain chicken, what used to be Dominica’s National Dish does not become extinct.
A few years ago, the Mountain Chicken was threatened by a fungal disease which reduced the crapaud population in Dominica by about 70 percent.
In response to this situation, the Government of Dominica placed a ban on the hunting of the frog and established a bio technology lab at the Botanic Gardens to carefully study the frog in captivity.
Acting Director of Agriculture Ricky Brumant says much progress has been made.
“If we are talking modernisation outside of Trinidad or Jamaica, we are probably the only other island in the Caribbean with a lab like that with a lot of capabilities. The person that manages the lab is of course, very well trained at the highest level too. This has helped significantly with the Mountain Chicken Project. We are moving along with the project. It is really managed out of Forestry and the Animal Livestock unit but the lab gives that support as well. With regards to the permanent destruction of the Mountain Chicken, I do not think we will have that. The Mountain Chicken will not get into extinction. We should not fear,” he said.
Dominica represents one the last two remaining strongholds for the species until the emergence of the Chytrid fungus threat in 2002.
The creation of the captive breeding programme for the mountain chicken in Dominica forms part of a wider crapaud conservation project.