by Zach Brinks, VP of Live Operations at Josh's Frogs
Exciting times at Josh’s Frogs! We’ve recently been able to partner with Sam Sucre, an experienced frog researcher, conservationist, and breeder to offer healthy, captive bred Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, produced in Panama and imported into the US by Josh’s Frogs!
These animals are a great source of new genetics for the amphibian hobby, and a chance to introduce new blood into existing captive breeding programs. They’re also a great change to support the research and conservation of amphibians in the wild, through our partnership with Sam at Natural Tanks (http://www.natural-tanks.com/).
I’ve spent the past year working with Sam to make this export a reality, and I’m really excited to share what I’ve learned with you. It’s a really cool process. It all starts with field work! Sam travels to specific locations within Panama, after acquiring legal access to the land and permits to collect a small number of animals. When amphibians of interest are found, he collects young animals – generally, these are small juveniles, to ensure that the small number of animals removed from the wild does not impact the population’s breeding ability.
These animals then travel to Sam’s indoor facility in Panama City, where they’re spoiled rotten! Sam and his dedicated team breed a wide variety of live feeders to offer a diverse diet. The animals are also housed in naturalistic vivaria, where they receive the best care possible. This provides great opportunities to observe the animals and describe anything new to science.
These dedicated husbandry practices often result in offspring down the road, and that’s where we get really excited! These captive bred animals are raised to a good size, and when they are large enough, they then help generate funds to support Sam’s team and to further his research, conservation, and education efforts in Panama. Sam also donated a portion of the earnings to other conservation minded organizations in Panama, such as the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (a 2 time Josh’s Frogs Amphibian Conservation Grant winner! (https://www.joshsfrogs.com/joshs-frogs-and-conservation)).
What does all this mean for you? You have the opportunity to add some beautiful, captive bred Red-Eyed Tree Frogs to your household, with the knowledge that they were sustainably produced with no measurable impact on wild populations! Your future pets also helped fund education, research, and conservation efforts in their country of origin - and that’s just the start! Josh’s Frogs and Natural Tanks are already working on a second import for Spring 2022, and expect to be able to offer more species of tree frogs and dart frogs to the US hobby. We’re also setting up breeding projects at our facility in Owosso, Michigan, with help and animals from Sam, to produce Panamanian amphibians in the US. These animals will help to fund further research, education, and conservation efforts in Panama, similar to our partnership with Association Mitsinjo in Madagascar. (https://www.joshsfrogs.com/catalog/blog/2014/12/joshs-frogs-mitsinjo-saving-frogs-future/).
We are excited to help support Sam’s amphibian conservation goals, and ready and willing to help more people bring healthy, captive bred amphibians into their homes! Thinking that a Panamanian Red-Eyed Tree Frog is right for you? Make sure you check out the following resources: