Leiopelma archeyi, commonly known as Archey’s Frog, is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM as ‘Critically Endangered’. Archey’s Frog is a small green-brown frog found only in New Zealand, where it lives on the North Island in the Coromandel Peninsula and the Whareorino Forest. This frog prefers moist forest at altitudes of 400 – 1000 m. It is the smallest of the four remaining endemic Leiopelma species and is one of the world’s most primitive species of frog. Archey’s Frog is a nocturnal species that lives under stones and logs during the day and is a terrestrial breeder. The larvae of Archey’s Frog hatch from eggs with small arms and legs already developed, thereby skipping the free-swimming tadpole stage.
Between 1996 and 2001 there was an 88% decrease in the Archey’s Frog population at monitored locations. Chytrid fungus was confirmed from wild frogs in 2001 and is implicated in the observed decline but several other factors may have been involved.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation Native Frog Recovery Group is responsible for applying conservation methods, including mammalian predator-control, appropriate research and captive breeding. The Auckland Zoo is currently the only institution to hold the species in captivity and successfully hatched and metamorphosed the species for the first time in 2012/13. There is a significant research effort both in the wild and the lab, including population monitoring, basic ecology and biology, benefits of rodent control in frog habitat, pathology and reproductive biology.
Archey’s Frog is listed as the number one Evolutionarily Distinct & Globally Endangered (EDGE) amphibian. EDGE species have very few close relatives and often have unique appearance, behaviour or lifestyles. They represent a unique and irreplaceable part of the Earth’s natural heritage.
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How to become an Amazing Amphibians partner:
Outlined below are the roles and responsibilities for the 4 different levels of involvement for potential partners. If your organization would like to be a part of the Amazing Amphibians program in either of these capacities please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Partner – These partners will help with multiple aspects of the program, help facilitate the completion of several species profiles, publicize each Amazing Amphibian and will likely have a landing page for the program on their website. This level of partner will be leading in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Strategic Partner – These partners will play an active role in creating species profiles, submitting at least three species profiles per year and actively use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be active in using their communication channels to gather additional information for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Focal Partner – Partners tend to be active in a limited geographic area. This partner will submit at least one regional species profile per year and use their social network to publicize each Amazing Amphibian. This level of partner will be involved in using their communication channels to gather additional information at a regional level for the program such as images and data points for iNaturalist.
Affiliate – These partners are interested in promoting the program but might not be in a position to provide profiles. These partners will publicize each Amazing Amphibian through the social media outlets.