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Lemur Leaf frogs at Bristol

Well, I have just returned from Bristol, where I have been to meet up with colleagues and collect some Lemur Leaf frogs from Bristol Zoo. It’s many years ago since we first provided the zoo with the founder stock  for a  breeding programme for this Critically Endangered  species, and I have to say that the  success they have had with professionally managing this species in captivity has far exceeded my expectations. Tim Skelton, the Curator of Herpetology at Bristol, has been hugely instrumental in the wonderful achievements the zoo has had with this species, and meeting him again, and seeing for myself the way the species is being managed so well, filled me with great pleasure. It was also fantastic to see the frogs thriving in their new amphipod (Pictured), a special bio-secure unit dedicated to the frogs, where every conceivable need is met and which only opened last month: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/8511225.stm

School support for the Amphibian Ark

This Friday (16th) I will be going to Lancashire to support a very special science learning day at Balshaws High School in Leyland. Throughout the day I will be teaching  all the year 8 students  about adaptation and  biodiversity (from Tropical Sri Lanka to the deserts of Australia and Africa). In the evening I will also be conducting a presentation more focused on amphibian conservation and will be taking a wide variety of the Museum’s animals along with me, including some our unusual and critically endangered frogs. Everyone is welcome to attend the evening lecture, so if you live in or around the area please feel free to come along – it would be great to see you there!


The day has been organised thanks to Caroline Molyneux, the school’s super Head of Science, and should be lots of fun. Although it’s not the norm for me to be taking the animals out to schools, I have to say that it gives me great pleasure to support this day, particularly as the school will be contributing to amphibian conservation in respect of this: apart from highlighting the importance of amphibian to their pupils they are also specifically fundraising to support the important work of the Amphibian Ark:  (http://www.amphibianark.org/).

2 cone-heads better than 1!

A few days ago we had two young cone-headed lizards hatch in the department.  It’s been just amazing to see these beautiful little lizards catch their first breath in the world and both are doing well and going from strength to strength. Soon we plan to put them on public display and into our new rainforest exhibit. However before then, I just thought you might be interested to see one of these little guys and so this morning I did a short video clip of a youngster and the adults (see below). Hope you enjoy seeing them.

……and at 3pm today the female shown in the above video laid eggs!!!: