London Zoo welcomes clutch of baby Crapauds

The mother Crapaud guards her babies at the London Zoo. Photo by Zoological Society of London

The London Zoo is celebrating what is being described as a “conservation success story” after two of its critically endangered Crapauds, also called “mountain chickens” successfully raised a clutch of six tiny froglets.

This is the first time in five years Crapauds held at the facility has raised a clutch, according to the zoo. The baby Crapauds are the offspring of a new pair of frogs that was recently moved to the zoo’s new habitat, The Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians Centre, which will be open to the public this Easter.

Curator of reptiles and amphibians at the London Zoo, Ben Tapley, said they were delighted how quickly the two settled in their new habitat.

“We are delighted at how quickly the mountain chicken frog colony have settled into their new home. Soon after they arrived, we spotted the female frog guarding her foam nest,” he said, according to the news website, National World.

“Mountain chicken frogs are incredible parents. The mother regularly visits the nest to lay unfertile eggs, which the growing brood will feed on, she also guards her nests, puffing up and using her body to defend her young from anything that gets a little too close.”

The Crapaud is described as a critically endangered species hanging on the brink of extinction. A recent survey revealed about 30 are left in the wild here in Dominica and its disappearance has been described as the “fastest eradication of a wild animal ever recorded.”

The frog has seen better days. For decades it was considered a delicacy and was sought after and savored for its chicken-like flavor. It was considered Dominica’s national dish, forms part of the island’s Coat-of-Arms, and is used as a logo by several very important Dominican institutions, like the National Bank of Dominica.

But disaster struck in 2002 when Dominica experienced the first rapid decline of the amphibian’s population due to arrival on the island of a deadly fungal disease called, the Amphibian Chytrid. This disease wiped out at least 80 percent of the population within 18 months and the creature, whose croaks were historically heard in many parts of Dominica, almost disappeared.

In 2009, conservationists from the London Zoo and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) airlifted some of the animals in a desperate effort to save the species from disappearing altogether from the face of the earth. In London, dedicated facilities were built for them and a breeding program was established.

Tapley said the new baby Crapauds still have a long way to go to reach the size of an adult but they are doing an important job in saving the world’s most threatened frog.

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  1. If we knew better
    March 8, 2024

    I wonder if those crapaud needed a visa to enter the UK. First is the parrots now is our mountain chicken. Bravo. idk why they doesnt send the biggest local monkey to be in a zoo too. the roosevelticus skerriticus species.

  2. DNO Reader
    March 8, 2024

    So no word on the time frame for their reintroduction back home?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • hmm
      March 8, 2024

      Why we couldn’t do the same thing that they did? We love when the white man come and do things for us that we somehow cannot do for ourselves. But then we always want to make claim as if we own the fruit of their labor

  3. RastarMarn
    March 7, 2024

    Way look trouble now!!!

    Dats what mista dem wanted man!!!

    Now dey gonna Clone D Crapauds,,,

    Dat now good!!!

  4. Iamanidiot
    March 7, 2024

    So what dem parrots saying now.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4
  5. Ibo France
    March 7, 2024

    I hate zoos with a passion. Zoos serve to deprive animals of the wild their freedom to roam and live in their own habitat.

    Why should we literally arrest and jail animals that have done us no wrong just to be put on exhibition for human amusement?

    By the way, where are the national birds that were exported to Germany? Are they thriving well or did they all died living away from their natural habitat? How could an entire nation forget about them when the pathological Liar promised Dominicans that they will be returned? You hear lie!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7
    • Lou
      March 8, 2024

      and yet here’s one saving the crapaud…

    • get a load of this guy
      March 8, 2024

      When you walk on the grass you probably kill dozens of bugs. You kill roaches, rats etc to keep your garden or your house or whatever clean. I’m sure you eat meat, if you don’t that explains your mental malfunction. These are animals. God gave us dominion over them to use for our benefit, that includes entertainment. Besides in this case the zoo is SAVING the animal from going extinct because of some other natural cause.

    • Calibishie Warrior
      March 9, 2024

      zoo’s are not what they were in the 70’s or 60’s. These days they basically serve as conservation labs for endangered species. Most are really research centres attached to zoological schools and universities. The fact that they allow the public in to see the animals in no way detracts for the rules in place to ensure the animals are kept in as comfortable a state as possible thereby allowing and fostering study and reproduction. Because the ‘natural habitat’ has been so compromised by humans over the years it is now necessary to rescue a lot of these species for future generations and to re-establish biodiversity.

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