The Golden Frog (Bufonidae: Atelopus zeteki) is one of the jewells on Earth. Should it disappear completely from the face of our planet, we would be a little bit poorer indeed. Its presence enrich our lives.
Atelopus zeteki is endemic to Panama and is critically endangered by the IUCN. This amphibian has been considered extinct in the wild since 2007.
Nevertheless it has been reported in its natural habitat by the Belgian Nature photographer Guido Sterkendries in 2008.
This little bufonid is part of the amphibian fauna of the town El Valle de Antón, province of Coclé in Panama. There is a n ongoing conservation project carried out by the Center of Conservation of Amphibians of the El Valle where they keep live golden frogs collected from the field to protect them from the fungus (Chytridiomycetes: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) that is killing frogs throughout the world.
So far conservationists and scientists have been successful breeding this frog in captivity at El Valle. There is a report indicating that out of 700 tadpoles, 10 were able to metamorphosed into frogs. This is an important step towards the conservation of this beautiful frog.