Smithsonian Releases About 500 Endangered Frogs in Central Panama

Approximately 500 variable harlequin frogs, formally known as Atelopus varius, were released in central Panama’s Colon province on Wednesday, January 17, as part of a Smithsonian research effort to reintroduce the endangered species to the wild.The frog is named after its multi-colored shades and black spots, and once could be found from Costa Rica to Panama before becoming extinct due to the amphibian chytrid fungus, a pathogenic fungus discovered in 1998.The 500 frogs released on January 17 were bred in a breeding center between 2013 and 2016, according to a Smithsonian press release, and they will be monitored via tiny transmitters in an effort to understand how the amphibians transition from captivity to the wild.This footage shows the release of the frogs. Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute via Storyful

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