In situ conservation of the Critically Endangered Lemur Leaf Frog (Agalychnis lemur).
Back in 2003 artificial and semi-natural breeding sites for the lemur leaf frog were created in attempts to reintroduced population of A. lemur within the Guayacán Rainforest Reserve. This effort by the C.R.A.R.C. marked the first in situ conservation project for this critically endangered species.
Numerous small artificial ponds, ranging from 1-2 meters in diameter were created in addition to placing plastic tubs ranging from 20 to 40 gallons in size at strategic points within the forest of the reserve. Within some of the tubs small numbers of tadpoles (25-50) of A. lemur were introduced to serve as breeding founders at the specific sites.
A year after the project was started, breeding adults were being observed on a regular basis in vegetation surrounding the newly created sites. In 2005 more breeding tubs were placed in a section of mature secondary forest in a separate part of the reserve. This time 55 gallon plastic barrels with the upper 1/3 removed were used. Once again small numbers of tadpoles were collected from the previously existing artificial breeding sites in the reserve and translocated to the new breeding barrels.
This experimental project initiated in 2003 has proven to be a huge success in successfully restablishing a robust population of the critically endangered Agalychnis lemur inside the Guayacán Rainforest Reserve. It is common to see numerous A. lemur individuals among the vegetation at the different breeding sites within the reserve. Not only has the population within the reserve increased, but it has expanded into neighboring forest. We have now found small breeding populations of A. lemur in neighboring sections of contiguous forest outside the C.R.A.R.C. reserve, sites where the species was not seen during amphibian inventory efforts in previous years.