Panamanian golden frogs are critically endangered amphibians almost extinct in the wild. They are unique to the mountainous rainforests of Panama, where populations have been severely threatened by habitat loss, over-collection and, most devastatingly, by fungal disease. The use of semaphore for communication is most unusual in amphibians, yet these true toads 'wave' at prospective mates and rivals, possibly to overcome the noise made by fast-flowing rivers. Only seen by a lucky few, these precious frogs have become the national animal of Panama and a symbol of good luck.
Scientific name: Atelopus zeteki
The following habitats are found across the Panamanian golden frog distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2006
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) is a critically endangered toad which is endemic to Panama. It has been considered a subspecies of A. varius, but is now generally regarded as a separate species. While the IUCN still lists it as critically endangered, it may have been extinct in the wild since 2009. Individuals have been collected for breeding in captivity in a bid to preserve the species.
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