Golden Frog Successfully Bred in Captivity in Panama

Juvenile Panamanian golden frog, reared at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center

Juvenile Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus zeteki, reared at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center

Now in its fourth year, Panama’s Golden Frog Day, August 14, is a salute to Panama’s cultural and ecological heritage with the golden frog, one of the most iconic symbols of Panama. The national legislation promotes species preservation and maintains an objective to promote conservation and protection of this amphibian species. This year the country can celebrate the successful breeding of the Panamanian golden frog at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC), located inside the Níspero Zoo in El Valle de Antón. The egg clutch laid on November 24, 2012 successfully developed into tadpoles and were raised to form a group of 42 healthy young golden frogs.

“Bringing wild animals into captivity is only the beginning of the work that we do in our facility. Fusing applied technology, available resources, and human innovation to create Mother Nature, inside, is the challenge, “ said Heidi Ross, Director of EVACC. “Learning from our past experiences we focused a lot of energy on diet, and as the saying “you are what you eat” applies to humans, it also is essential for amphibians”.

EVACC director, Heidi Ross with a box of juvenile captive-reared golden frogs (Atelopus varius).

EVACC director, Heidi Ross with a box of juvenile captive-reared golden frogs (Atelopus varius).

“We are extremely proud of our conservation team in Panama,” said Peter Riger, director of conservation programs at the Houston Zoo, and one of the principal sponsors of this project. “EVACC has successfully bred both golden frog species in captivity and they have aggressive population management goals to grow the captive population to at least five hundred individuals for each species that I’m sure they will meet.”

The EVACC facility forms part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. The Project collects frogs in areas threatened by the devastating chytrid fungal disease that has decimated amphibians worldwide. The hope is to learn to raise these animals in captivity until enough is known about the disease to allow researchers to release amphibians into the wild once again. Project partners include the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Houston Zoo, and Zoo New England. To learn more about the project please visit the project’s website.

Contact: Beth King 202-633-4700

Third Annual Golden Frog Day Calendar of Activities (2013)

Golden Frog Day
11 August
Times: 10:00 AM a 6:00 PM
Frog exhibit and fun activities for kids.
Contact: 212-8793

14 August
Time: 6:00 pm
PUBLIC FORUM. Presentations by Dr. Roberto Ibañez, Dr Justin Touchon and Lucrecia Arosemena.

15 August
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
“Science and Beer” conversation with amphibian experts: Dr. Richard Cooke and Angie Estrada

16 August
Come to Summit with your friends and help to save frogs!
Time: 10:00 AM a 12:00 PM and 1:00 a 3:00 PM
Contact: , 232-4850/232-4854

Saturday 17 August
Time: 11:00 AM
“Golden Frog Parade ”
Parade participants please meet opposite the church. Participants should dress festively, inspired by frogs.

17 & 18 August
El Níspero Zoo – El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC)

Times: Saturday: 12:30 – 4:30 PM. Sunday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Educational activities and exhibit of the amphibian conservation center and golden frogs.


Celebrate Golden Frog Day (English) from Melissa Mak on Vimeo.

Organizers: Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Summit Municipal Park, El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, La Rana Dorada Pub, APRADAP, FUNDECO, Cámara de Turismo de El Valle de Anton and Corregiduría de El Valle de Anton.

Join us in celebrating Golden Frog Day

Panamanian golden frog day is Aug. 14.

Golden Frog Day is a national day of awareness in Panama that occurs annually on August 14th. This day was designated in 2010 to celebrate the Panamanian golden frog and promote amphibian conservation. This year, the Golden Frog Day celebration starts on August 8th and goes until the 14th with different activities in El Valle and Panama city. On Aug. 13, those of us at Summit Zoo in Gamboa will offer activities that help demonstrate the significance of frogs in ecosystems and why we should protect them. Here is a detailed agenda of the many activities next week.

Golden Frog Day Celebration Agenda

Monday, Aug. 8th to Friday, Aug 12th (El Valle)

8 am – 2 pm: Writing and Drawing Contest for students from elementary and high schools from El Valle.

Saturday, August 13th (El Valle)

9 am: Elementary and high schools, governmental and non-governmental institutions from El Valle and near towns will be part of a Golden Frog Day Parade on El Valle Principal Avenue.

7:30 pm: Play in honor of golden frogs. Title: “La India Dormida” by high school students from the Instituto Profesional Técnico de El Valle at San José de El Valle Church.


Saturday, August 13th (Summit Zoo)

10 am: Golden Frog Day Celebration with 100 Summit Zoo kids. First Frog Exhibit at the Zoo: Two common species and their amazing stories.

11 am: A sneak peek on Frog Conservation in Panama. Exhibit: Frogs food at the Zoo: flies, worms, crickets and more. What else can we do?

12 pm: Frog Fun! Games and educational activities with kids.

1 pm: Frog lunch and Frog cake.


Sunday, August 14th (El Valle)

11 am: Mass at San Jose de El Valle Church.

12 pm: Visit to EVACC

2 pm: Marching bands performances at Hotel Pekin plaza in front of El Valle Public Market.

We would also like to encourage all of our frog friends to enter their cool golden frog pictures or any other amphibian picture in our online photography contest. How can you participate? You just need to friend us on Facebook and upload your frog pics (one per person), then tag us and tell all your friends to “like” it. Don’t forget to post your name and email so we can contact you when you win! The winner will receive a specially commissioned traditional tagua carving of their winning frog made by Lanky.