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Brief Summary

    Archey's frog: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Archey's frog, Leiopelma archeyi, is an archaic, rare frog native to New Zealand, one of only three (or four) extant species belonging to the taxonomic family Leiopelmatidae. It is named after Sir Gilbert Archey, the former director of the Auckland Institute. The holotype is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It is found only in the Coromandel Peninsula and near Te Kuiti in the North Island of New Zealand. This species, along with others in the family, have changed little over the past 200 million years, thus they represent "living fossils".

    The species is fully terrestrial, living and reproducing under damp vegetation in native forests. Currently, its distribution is confined to higher elevations at just two localities, although just 15 years ago, the species was abundant in a much wider distribution, down to sea level. Little is known about the natural history of this species. Although the species is sexually monomorphic, males are believed to be the primary care providers, and may prepare "nests" they guard for the eggs, secreting antimicrobial peptides onto them, to ensure successful embryonic development. Clutch sizes vary between four and 15 eggs. Reproduction is fully terrestrial; tadpoles develop within gelatinous egg capsules, and upon hatching, tailed froglets crawl onto the male's back and are carried around for several weeks where they complete metamorphosis. Adult frogs do not give advertisement vocalisations, but may communicate by chemical signalling. However, frogs sometimes give startle calls when threatened by a predator.

    An intensively monitored population in one Cormandel site declined by 88% from 1996 to 2001, but in many areas where frogs previously were common, none remain. Because populations are rapidly declining, and reproduction is infrequent, the species is at significant risk of imminent extinction.

    As first shown by Bruce Waldman, the species appears to have an intrinsically low level of susceptibility to chytridiomycosis. However, frogs in the field show clinical signs, including blisters, that may be associated with other diseases. Nonetheless, despite field observations suggesting that frogs were dying from other causes, New Zealand researchers continued to argue that the species was most at risk from chytridiomycosis and planned their management strategies primarily to mitigate threats from this disease. After his research permits were withdrawn by the Department of Conservation, Waldman subsequently left New Zealand.

    A captive-breeding programme was established at the University of Canterbury in 2002 to safeguard the species from disease, and frogs successfully bred. The programme was transferred to Auckland Zoo in 2005, where over half of the frogs, including juveniles bred at the Canterbury facility, died. Some of the remaining frogs produced offspring in December 2012, of which seven still survived as of February, 2013. After 8 years of failed attempts to get the frogs to breed at Auckland Zoo, zookeepers claimed "a massive and internationally important victory". Based on an Auckland Zoo press release that promoted their new public display of adult Archey's frogs, the Auckland Zoo breeding was widely but inaccurately reported as representing the first time the frogs had successfully reproduced in captivity. Auckland Zoo, Otago University, and James Cook University researchers attribute the mortality and reproductive failures at Auckland Zoo in part to metabolic bone disease, which they determined had not been a problem in the Canterbury facility.

    The species is categorised as Nationally Vulnerable under the New Zealand Threat Classification System and as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Rats and the introduced green and golden bell frog are known to kill Archey´s frogs. Predators known to predate other frog species in New Zealand, such as pigs, cats, hedgehogs and ferrets, are also likely to have an impact.

Comprehensive Description

    Archey's frog
    provided by wikipedia

    Archey's frog, Leiopelma archeyi, is an archaic, rare frog native to New Zealand, one of only three (or four) extant species belonging to the taxonomic family Leiopelmatidae. It is named after Sir Gilbert Archey, the former director of the Auckland Institute.[2] The holotype is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.[3] It is found only in the Coromandel Peninsula and near Te Kuiti in the North Island of New Zealand. This species, along with others in the family, have changed little over the past 200 million years, thus they represent "living fossils".

    The species is fully terrestrial, living and reproducing under damp vegetation in native forests. Currently, its distribution is confined to higher elevations at just two localities, although just 15 years ago, the species was abundant in a much wider distribution, down to sea level. Little is known about the natural history of this species. Although the species is sexually monomorphic, males are believed to be the primary care providers, and may prepare "nests" they guard for the eggs, secreting antimicrobial peptides onto them, to ensure successful embryonic development. Clutch sizes vary between four and 15 eggs. Reproduction is fully terrestrial; tadpoles develop within gelatinous egg capsules, and upon hatching, tailed froglets crawl onto the male's back and are carried around for several weeks where they complete metamorphosis. Adult frogs do not give advertisement vocalisations, but may communicate by chemical signalling. However, frogs sometimes give startle calls when threatened by a predator.

    An intensively monitored population in one Cormandel site declined by 88% from 1996 to 2001,[4] but in many areas where frogs previously were common, none remain. Because populations are rapidly declining, and reproduction is infrequent, the species is at significant risk of imminent extinction.

    As first shown by Bruce Waldman,[5] the species appears to have an intrinsically low level of susceptibility to chytridiomycosis.[6] However, frogs in the field show clinical signs, including blisters, that may be associated with other diseases.[7] Nonetheless, despite field observations suggesting that frogs were dying from other causes, New Zealand researchers continued to argue that the species was most at risk from chytridiomycosis and planned their management strategies primarily to mitigate threats from this disease.[8] After his research permits were withdrawn by the Department of Conservation,[9] Waldman subsequently left New Zealand.[10]

    A captive-breeding programme was established at the University of Canterbury in 2002 to safeguard the species from disease,[11] and frogs successfully bred.[12] The programme was transferred to Auckland Zoo in 2005, where over half of the frogs, including juveniles bred at the Canterbury facility, died.[13] Some of the remaining frogs produced offspring in December 2012, of which seven still survived as of February, 2013.[14] After 8 years of failed attempts to get the frogs to breed at Auckland Zoo, zookeepers claimed "a massive and internationally important victory".[15] Based on an Auckland Zoo press release that promoted their new public display of adult Archey's frogs,[16] the Auckland Zoo breeding was widely but inaccurately reported as representing the first time the frogs had successfully reproduced in captivity. Auckland Zoo, Otago University, and James Cook University researchers attribute the mortality and reproductive failures at Auckland Zoo in part to metabolic bone disease, which they determined had not been a problem in the Canterbury facility.[17]

    The species is categorised as Nationally Vulnerable under the New Zealand Threat Classification System[18] and as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Rats and the introduced green and golden bell frog are known to kill Archey´s frogs.[19] Predators known to predate other frog species in New Zealand, such as pigs, cats, hedgehogs and ferrets, are also likely to have an impact.[19]

    See also

    References

    1. ^ Bell (2004). "Leiopelma archeyi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ "Leiopelma archeyi: Archey's Frog". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 13 June 2006.
    3. ^ Turbott, E. G. "The Distribution of the Genus Leiopelma in New Zealand with a Description of a New Species". New Zealand National Library. Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
    4. ^ Bell BD, Carver S, Mitchell NJ, Pledger S (2004) The recent decline of a New Zealand endemic: How and why did populations of Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi crash over 1996–2001? Biol Conserv 120:189–199.
    5. ^ Pesticides blamed for killing our rarest frogs. Sunday Star Times, 1 May 2005.
    6. ^ Elimination of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis by Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi. Aquatic Diseases of Organisms, 84: 9–15, 2009 doi:10.3354/dao02028.
    7. ^ Waldman B (2011) Brief encounters with Archey's frog. FrogLog 99:39-41
    8. ^ http://www.edgeofexistence.org/amphibians/species_info.php?id=546
    9. ^ http://blog.greens.org.nz/2005/05/22/my-personal-story-revealed/
    10. ^ http://www.useoul.edu/news/news0101_view.jsp?idx=128918
    11. ^ Frog mission underway Independent Radio News, 31 July 2002.
    12. ^ Waldman B (2011) Brief encounters with Archey's Frog. FrogLog 99:39-41
    13. ^ Gibson, Eloise (28 March 2009). "Half of zoo frog colony dies". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2011..
    14. ^ Vaimoana Tapaleao (Feb 27, 2013). "Rare frogs thriving at zoo". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved Feb 27, 2013.
    15. ^ "Rare NZ native frog breeds at Auckland Zoo". Fairfax Newspapers. Feb 27, 2013. Retrieved Feb 27, 2013.
    16. ^ "Big leap forward in breeding of rare frog". Auckland Zoo. Feb 27, 2013. Retrieved Feb 27, 2013.
    17. ^ Shaw SD, Bishop PJ, Harvey C, Berger L, Skerratt LF, Callon K, Watson M, Potter J, Jakob-Hoff R, Goold M, Kunzmann N, West P, Speare R (2012) Fluorosis as a probable factor in metabolic bone disease in captive New Zealand native frogs (Leiopelma sp.). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: September 2012, 43:549-565.
    18. ^ Newman, Donald G.; Bell, Ben D.; Bishop, Phillip J.; Burns, Rhys J.; Haigh, Amanda; Hitchmough, Rodney A. (2013). Conservation status of New Zealand frogs, 2013 (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Conservation. ISBN 9780478226973. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
    19. ^ a b Egeter, Bastian; Robertson, Bruce C.; Bishop, Phillip J. (2015). "A Synthesis of Direct Evidence of Predation on Amphibians in New Zealand, in the Context of Global Invasion Biology". Herpetological Review. 46: 512–519.

    Description
    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    A small frog with snout-vent length up to 31 mm for males, 37 mm for females. Varies in color from mostly green to mixtures of green and brown to mostly brown. No or little webbing in the hind toes. No external eardrum (Gill and Whitaker 1996). Has defensive granular glands in skin, which are concentrated into discrete dorsal patches arranged down the back and sides in about six longitudinal rows. The middle row is the most prominent. The glands are also on the dorsal surface of legs and feet, and to a lesser extent, the arms (Green 1988).

    Named after Sir Gilbert Archey (1890-1974) who was the former Director of the Auckland Institute and Museum (Gill and Whitaker 1996).

    Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 3 June 2013

Distribution

    Distribution and Habitat
    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    Whareorino Forest, west of Te Kuiti; Moehau and Colville Ranges on the Coromandel Peninsula south to ranges near Paeroa (Gill and Whitaker 1996).

    Terrestrial; can be found in moist forests, grassy clearings, ridges, and sub-alpine scrub around 200-1000 m altitude. Nocturnal; likes to take shelter under stone and logs by day (Gill and Whitaker 1996).

Conservation Status

Trends

    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    Call: No loud breeding call (Gill and Whitaker 1996). Squeak or chirp when annoyed, distressed, or during sexual activity. Has no true voice-box; dominant frequencies and overtones of call notes depend on resonance frequencies in head and body, not vibration frequency of vocal chords (Green 1988).

    Defense: Can remain motionless for long periods of time. Assumes stiff-legged stance, rearing up and extending the legs (Green 1988).

    Reproduction: Amplexus takes place in shallow depressions beneath logs, where it’s cool and moist. Egg clusters are later laid in strings. Diameters of egg capsules range from 8 to 11 mm. Eggs are yolky, unpigmented, and enclosed in clear capsules comprised of an outer, tougher, and initially somewhat adhesive coat, a middle gelatinous layer, and an inner vitelline membrane. Sometimes frogs, particularly males, occupy the oviposition sites for weeks or longer prior to the laying of eggs. Takes froglets at least 3 to 4 years to reach maturity. In their development, they have narrow tail fins, and only the base of the forelimbs is covered by the gular fold (Bell 1978).

Threats

    Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
    provided by AmphibiaWeb text

    On March 26, 2018, we featured conservation efforts in News of the Week:
    Archey’s frog (Leiopelma archeyi) is considered one of the most endangered and evolutionarily distinct frogs in the world. This small frog occurs in the moist, subalpine scrub of New Zealand’s North Island in the Coromandel Peninsula and the Whareorino Forest, and is known for its direct developing young (having no tadpole stage). In March 2018, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation will proactively combat one of the threats to the frogs by setting out over a thousand self-resetting rat traps in Whareorino Forest. The deployment of automatically resetting rat traps apparently has the benefit of reducing the need for human intervention which allows long unsupervised implementation as well as reducing the exposure of the tiny frogs to human-transmitted diseases in these remote areas. The NZ Department of Conservation has shown that reducing introduced predators such as rats has allowed frog populations to stabilize and do well in translocated areas like Pureora, south of the Coromandel Peninsula.