Top frog

Archey’s froglet

Archey’s froglet

One of our native frogs has just topped a world listing, however, it’s not an achievement to celebrate.

Archey’s frog now has the dubious distinction of being the world’s most endangered amphibian.

Archey’s frog is listed as critically endangered on New Zealand’s threatened species list, but it’s very sobering to realise that the world’s leading frogologists (also known as herpetologists) consider it to be in a more desperate state than any other frog or newt in the world.

Our other three native frogs also make the top 100:

Predators like rats and the chytrid fungus have nearly wiped out these endemic frogs.

What chance have these frogs got? Are they on the slippery slope to extinction, as three other native species of frog were 1000 years or so ago? Well, within the limits of available funding and using the skills of the few frog experts we have in New Zealand, it looks like everything that can be done for these little critters is being tried.

2008 has been designated the Year of the Frog by the Amphibian Ark conservation campaign – let’s hope it’s a great one for our frogs and the folk working to save them.

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