CHARTER MEMBERSHIPS: Please email email@example.com if you wish to be notified when Charter Memberships to SAVE THE FROGS! Panama become available (currently scheduled for early January 2016). Thanks!
Founded on October 15th, 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! Panama is Central America's first branch of SAVE THE FROGS!. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama is to protect Panamanian amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife. Panama is one of the world's amphibian biodiversity hotspots, with 218 known amphibian species occurring in a landmass less than 1% of the size of the USA.
"Hi Kerry, I am thrilled to see Save The Frogs in Panama! Congratulations to the first Central America branch! Hope to see the organization spreading all over the world :) Good luck!"
— Izabela M. Barata, Instituto Biotropicos, Minas Gerais, Brasil
Panama has approximately 50 amphibian species threatened with extinction, and 19 that are presumed extinct. There are an additional 27 species for which there is simply not enough data for us to determine population trends. There is clearly a need for increased amphibian research and conservation efforts in Panama.
Glass Frog (Cochranella granulosa) near the Panama Canal
"That Cochranella granulosa is a singularly beautiful creature. Its translucence is delightfully amazing. Thank you for the perfect portrait photograph!" -- Val Marjoricastle
Glowing glass frog art by Dr. Kerry Kriger
"This is wonderful news as STF! chapters progress throughout the world. I appreciate the planning and efforts that you are expending to bring people of ages into the fold."
— Vic Eichler, Frog Biologist, Michigan
The inaugural meeting of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama was held at the University of Panama in Panama City on October 15th, 2015. The meeting was led by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger, an amphibian biologist who has coordinated over 1,600 environmental educational events in 60 countries. Approximately 30 Panamanians were in attendance. Dr. Kriger gave an overview of amphibian natural history, threats to amphibians, and ways people can help save frogs from extinction. Dr. Kriger introduced 30 attendees to SAVE THE FROGS' worldwide efforts on behalf of amphibians. During the second half of the meeting, Dr. Kriger and 13 participants created and signed the Constitution of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama, officially founding the organization, which is Central America's first official branch of SAVE THE FROGS!.
"Great monumental work."
— Professor Muhammad Sharif Khan, Morton, PA
"Congratulations on a job well done. Wishing you the best of success."
-- Cynthia Buczkowske
The Constitution of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama was ratified by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger and 13 Panamanians on October 15th, 2015 at the inaugural meeting of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama. The Constitution provides a guiding vision and framework to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and longevity of the organization.
"I hope that the STF! Panama group does great things for frogs here."
-- Red-Eyed Treefrog Expert Dr. Karen Warkentin
In October 2009, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger taught a 5-day course at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City entitled "Instruction and Application of Quantitative PCR Molecular Techniques for the Study of Amphibian Epidemics". As of October 2015, Dr. Kriger's freely distributed detailed protocol for the detection of chytrid fungus has been in use by the Smithsonian researchers for six years AND they have had no disease outbreaks at their Gamboa Amphibian Rescue Center, where they captive breed critically endangered amphibians!
Dr. Kriger teaching amphibian disease detection techniques in 2009:
The Smithsonian's Gamboa frog breeding facilities (Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project) in 2015:
"I love your dedication Dr. Kerry Kriger!
Sincerely, Zita Fekete"
Dr. Roberto Ibañez helped organize SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger's 2009 amphibian disease detection course at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Naos Island in Panama. Along with Estefany Illueca, he also organized and thus made possible the October 15th, 2015 event that led to the formation of SAVE THE FROGS! Panama. On top of that, the two are doing a great deal of work protecting Panama's amphibians from chytrid fungus, and educating many students about amphibians. Dr. Kriger enjoyed a great night looking for frogs with the two of them near Gamboa in October 2015.
The primary threat to amphibians in lowland areas is habitat destruction due to urban expansion and agriculture, including cattle ranching. The primary threat to Panama's upland amphibian fauna is chytridiomycosis, a highly infectious fungal disease that arrived in western Panama in 1996. Since that time, the chytrid fungus has moved rapidly eastward across the country, obliterating most of western Panama's high-altitude amphibian populations. Streams that used to have 50 species now have only a few, and populations have shown virtually no recovery. Chytridiomycosis has likely driven 19 species to extinction (though a few of these species still survive in small numbers in captive breeding facilities).
"I lived in Panama for three years in the seventies. My husband was military so we lived in the Zone not far from the canal. We had very tiny frogs in our yard. In the rainy season they stayed in our water runoff, a wide cement trough that ran around the house. They made very loud, high-pitched sounds all through the night. I hope they've managed to survive considering that the army used agent orange to defoliate the jungle near us. We sure do leave our nasty footprint!"
-- Fay Goldie
I'm thrilled to see that SAVE THE FROGS! is in Panama. My connection to STF! is my niece who is passionate about amphibian conservation; a little over a year ago I had the incredible pleasure to take her with me to Panama. I'm writing because I used to be a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama. If you have any information you'd like me to share with the active Peace Corps Panama group on Facebook, I would be happy to do so.
Thanks for visiting the SAVE THE FROGS! Panama webpage. Please spread the word! Gracias!