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A Friday afternoon trip!

Hi, my names Andrea Winn, and I work with Andrew and other colleagues developing the engagement programmes for the museum. I am lucky enough to work with all of the Museum’s fantastic and varied collections, which gives me the opportunity to take objects out to community groups.

Last Friday afternoon Andrew and I visited Shore Green residential care home in Wythenshawe. Shore Green is an excellent forward thinking residential home for people living with dementia.


I have worked with Sally and Sophie, who manage the home, on a number of occasions taking a variety of objects from the museums collection into the home for the residents to handle and engage with.We always have an enjoyable visit, and to make things different for the residents Andrew brought along some live animals, including the Royal Python snake, an African Fat-tailed Gecko and the Crested Gecko.

Although some of the residents were reluctant to handle the live animals at first, they soon warmed to Andrew and his enthusiasm and all members of the group either held the animals or stroked them. Audrey was particularly taken with the snake and thought it would make a lovely pet – watch out Sally and Sophie for a pet request!  One of the touching comments of the afternoon from one of the residents was that she felt very privileged to be able to handle a snake and get close to the animals.The trip was so successful that it has prompted Sally and Sophie to organise a visit to the museum for the residents, and so we are really looking forward to welcoming the group into the museum in the New Year.


Publications of interest

Panamanian Agalychnis annae, (c) Nadim Hamad

I thought you might be interested in some recent research papers I have been sent from friends and colleagues in Germany which relate to some interesting new fieldwork. These include work carried out in Panama which highlights a new discovery for the Yellow-eyed Leaf Frog, Agalychnis annae, and which extends its range out of Costa Rica for the very first time. Specimens from this population look absolutely spectacular (see the adult female pictured right) and they could turn out to be very different from those found in Costa Rica.

Hertz et al. (2011) Noteworthy amphibian records

Nguyen et al. (2011) Reptile diversity Cat Ba Archipelago

Geissler et al. (2011) Review Indochinese Lygosoma

Ziegler et al. (2011) Asian amphibian projects

Wildenhues et al. (2011) Rhacophorus orlovi

Ohler et al. (2011) Megophrys frogs of Northern Indochina


New Talk Date!

A new date has been confirmed for the Frog talk I am giving and it is now to be given on the 24th November. This forms part of the new series of animal conservation-based talks we are hosting, and will cover in detail many aspects of the unusual biology of rare and endangered amphibians. It will also highlight the work being undertaken by the Manchester Museum and it’s partners in support of their conservation. Next Year, on the 29th of February, it is ‘Leap Day”, and The Manchester Museum will also be hosting a wide variety of specialist talks on Frog Conservation in support of this day.

Everyone is welcome to attend the talk, which will be held in the Kanaris Theatre at The Manchester Museum between 1 – 2 pm.  Again, if you are a Manchester University staff member or student you might want to let your friends and colleagues know about this event and arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you are not associated with the University you are also extremely welcome to attend, there is no charge whatsoever.  The talk will also include live rare Leaf frogs from the Vivarium.

Other talks in the Series          Conservation            Engagement             Research

Many Thanks to our Vivarium Volunteer Xaali for producing the fab poster above!


IUCN’s latest update

The November 2011 report from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that 61,914 species have now been assessed, providing a better insight than ever before into the state of the world’s biodiversity. The IUCN Red List now not only contains a higher number of species, but also a great diversity, moving it a step closer to becoming a true ‘Barometer of Life’.

In recent years, the conservation status of many of the world’s reptiles has been assessed, including a major project examining the reptiles of Madagascar. A troubling 40% of the country’s reptiles are threatened with extinction, with 22 species being assessed as Critically Endangered.

Ranitomeya benedicta, one of the first specimens ever photographed. (2006) Wouter Olthof (c)

Amphibians are currently one of the most threatened groups of animals and are closely monitored by the IUCN. This latest update sees 26 fairly recently discovered species added to the IUCN Red List, including the Vulnerable blessed poison frog, Ranitomeya benedicta (pictured) and the Endangered Summers’ poison frog Ranitomeya summersi.

Much of these species’ habitat is uninhabited and therefore deforestation is not a major threat. However, certain areas, particularly near the type localities, have been badly deforested since their initial discovery.  Fairly recently, many R. benedicta were smuggled illegally to Germany, although legal frogs  have become available in the US pet trade, and now captive-bred stock is also available from a reputable supplier in Europe.

Explore more threatened species on ARKive, supporting conservation through imagery.

Find out more about the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and this year’s update.

Join the discussion and add your input to the amphibian status assessments online.

Learn more about Dendrobatid frogs and the new taxonomic changes with Ranitomeya.

Read about committed poison dart-frog researchers and their successes in the field.

Find ethical frog suppliers such as Understory Enterprises & Peruvian Frog Imports.

Retrieve latest up-to-date information relating to amphibian biology and conservation.

Browse and explore amphibian Ex-situ conservation programmes by genus or country.