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Now let me tell you about our little froggy that we think we have found in Monte Verde Southern Costa Rica!
INBio of Costa Rica and other scientific research says that this little froggy was last seen in the early 90's and is given up as either very critically endangered or else extinct!
Over the past 3 years we have had different biologists from the university of Costa Rica up in the mountains, and for many weeks this past dry season and we are 99% sure that we have found the froggy, but as you can see in the research we will have to patiently wait until May for the early rains to know for certain. We will keep you updated as the discovery of our froggy develops and if he (they) peek out in May we will most definitely let you know! And soon thereafter the whole world will find out about Monte Verde southern Costa Rica!

 

 

Description
Atelopus chiriquiensis, the Chiriqui Harlequin Frog, is a moderately-sized frog with males reaching 28-34 mm and females 36-49 mm (Savage 2002). The head is angular and longer than it is wide, and lacks a visible tympanum (Savage 2002). This species is highly variable in color.

Distribution and Habitat
Costa Rica, Panama A. chiriquiensis occurs in the cool, humid cloudforest in the Talamanca Mountain range from Costa Rica to Panama. This species is found at elevations of 1600-2500 meters. There is some variation in habitat selection between sexes (Leenders 2001). Males prefer areas near streams and females prefer shaded forest habitat (Lips 1998).
Breeding takes during the early wet season in Costa Rica (May to July) (Savage 2002). Advertisement calls have been described as a buzz or a pulsed call (Savage 2002). Chiriqui Harlequin Frogs in Parque Internacional La Amistad, Provincia de Chiriqui, Panama, were observed mating (Lindquist and Swihart 1997). The habitat consisted of swift mountain streams with water temperatures of 10.8 degrees C and air temperatures of 17.6 degress C, in cloud forests of 1600-2100 meters. Mating behavior occurred during both daytime and nighttime. The observed mating sex ratio was 1 female to 7 males. Females are on average 1.5x the size of males. Amplexus is axillary (Lindquist and Swihart 1997), and is initiated well before egg laying (Savage 2002). Frogs of the genus Atelopus are known for remaining in amplexus for extended periods of time, even up to several weeks (Leenders 2001). Males not in amplexus with a female were observed trying to dislodge other males from females, but these attempts were not successful. Amplectant mating pairs submerge themselves completely in the stream for 15-30 minutes, either to avoid attempts by other males to disrupt the mating, or possibly for females to look for egg laying sites (Lindquist and Swihart 1997).

Trends and Threats
This species has not been observed over its normal range/distribution in recent years and is possibly extinct (Leenders 2001). In Finca Jaguar, Costa Rica, Lips (1998) reported that the Chiriqui Harlequin Frog was most abundant in 1991. Tadpoles and adults were seen in the area, but no juveniles. By 1994 the mark and recapture rate of Chiriqui Harlequin Frogs was extremely low, suggesting these frogs had migrated away from the area (Lips 1998). By 1996 there were only 5 individuals found in this area, with a female biased sex-ratio (Lips 1998).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline
 General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
  Habitat fragmentation
 Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
  Predators (natural or introduced)
  Disease
 Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.
For marketing reasons and for friendship reasons I would like to give our froggy friend a nick name as his real name is way too long! I am thinking of something like, “Chumis” which is the root word of the mountain range which is home to our little friend, (see the Fog Mountain Coffee insert in this news letter) if any of you readers have ideas on what we could name our lil' buddy please send them to me!
I hope to see CNN and National Geographic here in Monte Verde soon, letting the world know about “Chumis” our little froggy friend from Southern Costa Rica!
Nat Yoder



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