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Chagos outreach project

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One of our missions is to enhance people’s appreciation of wildlife, and in a bid to help connect UK Chagossian’s with their wildlife heritage we are pleased to be involved in a two stage programme developed by the Zoological Society of London, which aims to increase environmental awareness within UK Chagossian communities.

The Manchester Museum has been involved in supporting this great initiative by hosting a joint event aimed at promoting environmental issues and highlighting the unique and exciting wildlife to be found in Chagos, a very  special protected area. Tropical marine and terrestrial topics, such as coral reef and island ecology, and conservation were a main focus. The initiative is proving to be a wonderful success, and is being thoroughly enjoyed by all involved. We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with ZSL and supporting this superb project.



Weekend Workshop!

(c) Darron Matthews

Interested in wildlife and photography?    

Well, if you are, you may be pleased to hear we just have a couple of places still available on the Wildlife Photography course this forthcoming weekend – but to take opportunity you will have to be quick!

As previously, this second course promises a wonderful opportunity for amateur photographers to learn new skills from Professional wildlife photographer Chris Mattison, and to also photograph some of the rarest frogs from the museum’s live collection.

We look forward to welcoming all on the course this Saturday, but are also looking forward to meeting Darron Matthews, who won a place on the course as part of The World Through Your Eyes Photography competition. So far, over £2,000 has been raised for The Princes Trust. 

Critically Endangered Lemur Leaf Frog at Manchester Museum (c) Chris Mattison

Apart from the winning wildlife picture, Darron also submitted the superb photo of a german wasp and mites (above). He is an amateur photographer from Staffordshire who specialises in the photography of insects, spiders and minibeasts in general. However, this weekend Darron will photographing our rare and endangered amphibians.


To find out more please click the link top right or see the links below:

Last days of Autumn

(c) Natural History Museum (click)

Last Thursday I was at the Natural History Museum in London, for the launch of the new Educational Programme, The Colour of Nature: Real World Science. Initially developed from the work of my colleague Alexa Jeanes at Manchester, this now forms part of a truly collaborative initiative involving several national museum’s. What a wonderful evening it was, and such pleasure for me to meet others involved in this superb jointly developed project.

For the weekend, I headed further South, to Kent, and to visit a very good friend of mine who shares my level of interest in nature and wildlife.

Saturday morning, the mist was clearing and the low Autumn sun just showing itself. I was itching to experience some of the wonderful Kent countryside again. I really love spending time outdoors here – Kent is not called the Garden of England for nothing! This time we visited a particular wood, an ancient wood. Some of the rarest plants in Britain can be found here in spring and summer, it’s a very special place.  Walking through the wood at this exact time, when the last few remaining maple tree leaves get caught on the breeze and slowly drift downwards to complete the bronze and yellow carpeting below, is magical. The damp woodland smells that fill the air, the fleeting call of the green woodpecker in the distance, the huge variety of fungi growing underfoot, whose colours act to reflect the fading rays of golden light, those last days of Autumn..

The Colour of Nature        Development of shared ‘Real World Science’ Project 

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Leaf-Folding Frogs

Frogs of the tree frog subfamily Phyllomedusinae lay their eggs above water to protect them being eaten by fish and aquatic insect larvae as they develop into tadpoles. Within this group of frogs, there are Leaf frogs (Agalychnis & Cruziohyla) and Monkey Frogs (Phyllomedusa). Specializing in these unusual frogs, we have many species within our collection, and a great amount of experience maintaining them correctly and breeding them.

Phyllomedusa trinitatis (c) Andrew Gray

Some of our Monkey Frogs are particularly spectacular looking – our Trinidadian Monkey Frogs, Phyllomedusa trinitatis, for instance, are bright leaf-green and have an eye that contains a most beautiful gold-reticulated iris. These are one of our favourites species, although we have not previously tried breeding them. However, this week we set some up in small rain chamber and within the week they have started reproducing. Monkey frogs have a remarkable way of laying their eggs – all the species fold a leaf around them as they spawn, which is sealed top and bottom with a jelly capsule plug, to protect the eggs embedded within.

You may also be interested to check out our phyllomedusine tadpoles as they develop through Our live webcam straight from the Vivarium and viewable 24/7!    


Phyllomedusine Frogs   Golden tree frog of Trinidad    Froth, Foam and Bubble..