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December 21st. (3.45pm)  Manchester Museum – New Panther chameleon and related displays:

December 19th. (2.10pm)  – This afternoon, Adam and I visited Laura King and Jamie Hardie, two extremely enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable private breeders who specialize in keeping chameleons. It was such a pleasure to meet them and see the way they are maintaining their animals. One of the other reasons we visited was to collect a male Panther Chameleon for the Museum. When we got there we couldn’t believe just  how cool their set up is – they had even converted one of their rooms especially for breeding Panthers from the many different localities. Both Laura and Jamie are extremely knowledgeable on their subject and I would highly recommend anyone who needs any advice on keeping chameleons to get in contact with them by email: Chameleoco@aol.com.  I would also like to thank them both greatly on behalf of Manchester Museum for the amazing Panther Chameleon they supplied us with.  www.Chameleoco.com

Laura shows the Panther Chameleon room:

Laura shows the eggs and young Panther Chameleons:

Laura shows rescued Mellers Chameleon:

December 19th. Cleveleys, North-West of England (10.45am) – The Reptile Room. Most people will know that I don’t usually endorse the reptile and amphibian trade, and so before I go on I have to stress that Manchester Museum never sells any of it’s animals (although we do sometimes give, loan, or exchange them with zoos and private specialists). Over the years, some of the things I have seen regarding the trade in reptiles and amphibians has almost had me in tears. However, because there are so many unscrupulous people just wanting to make a fast buck at the expense of the lives of these animals, it ‘s been particularly uplifting to recently witness a couple of  really good examples of how things can be done properly with regards supplying enthusiasts with healthy animals – and good knowledge to help them stay that way. The first has been to hear about the work of Mark Pepper in Canada with Understory Enterprises, who is doing a wonderful job in captive breeding amphibians specifically for specialists.  Apart from half the money going back to fund conservation, his supply of high quality captive-bred animals should also ensure that no-one will ever need take any more specimens of  the species he is working with from the wild again. http://www.understoryenterprises.com/

December 11th. Manchester, England (10.30am) – The breeding set up at Manchester for Cruziohyla calcarifer shown in response to questions from Paul and Raf:

The advertisement call of Cruziohyla calcarifer:

November 17th. The Costa Rica Amphibian Research Centre (CRARC), Costa Rica (9.30am) – Brian Kubicki shows the wonderful rainforest reserve of the CRARC

November 17th. The CRARC, Costa Rica (9.40am) – some of the facilities at the CRARC, including the guest house.

November 17th. The CRARC, Costa Rica (10am) – A green poison dart frog, dendrobates auratus . This  dart frog prefers to deposit its tadpoles in larger water bodies, such as hollows in water-filled logs. The tadpoles are also not fed by the parent as in some other species.

November 16th. The CRARC, Costa Rica (PM)  The following 5 clips.

Brian Kubicki introduces the main lab area at night just after I arrive.

Brian shows a range of different glass frogs being maintained in captivity.

Brian explains what an ideal vivarium set up should be like for keeping and breeding glass frogs

Brian explains how he raises glass frog tadpoles in the lab

Brian shows Phyllobates vitatus in the CRARC lab. Apparently this poison frog has a  distribution limited only to the Golfo Dulce region of southwestern Costa Rica.

November 16th. Costa Rica – Dendrobates (Oophaga) pumilio from the Sequires – Limon region:

Check out all the other colour forms for the species at:  http://tropical-experience.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=52&lang=en

November 15th 2.00pm. Costa Rica – Aviarios Sloth sanctuary:

November 15th.  Costa Rica – Orphaned baby sloths in nursery at Aviarios:

November 15th 2.00pm. Costa Rica – Adult two-fingered sloths recovering from injury at Aviarios Sloth sanctuary

November 14th 10am. Costa Rica – A look at where chocolate comes from after a bleary-eyed breakfast:

November 13th 3.30pm. Costa Rica – Dendrobates (Oophaga) pumilio from the southern Caribbean Coast:

Other colour forms can be viewed at: http://tropical-experience.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=52&lang=en

November 2nd – A clip of how we maintain Cruziohyla calcarifer in captivity in response to the recent question by Erik in the Netherlands:

October 29th: Norden’s Ark, Sweden, 7am. Might sound a bit out of breath, but I just had to run up and have one last look at the Amur Tigers and the wonderful enclosures at Nordens Ark before the long journey home:

October 28th: Norden’s Ark, Sweden. Meeting the wolverines!

Norden’s Ark is famous for its conservation work with European mammals. Here I get to go in and feed the wolverines with Emma Nygren who is the centres conservation biologist and keeper of small mammals, including the mustelids (some not so small!). Check out Emma’s Diary here: http://www.nordensark.se/en/about-nordens-ark/nyheter/zookeepers-diary/#c1521

October 27th: Norden’s Ark, Sweden.

Tour of the indoor exhibits for native amphibians at Norden’s Ark:

Tropical Exhibits at Nordens Ark:

October 26th:The Universeum, Gothenburg.

Jan Westin, the man responsible for creating the Universeum:

The Rainforest inside the Universeum:

Behind the scenes at the Universeum:

Here are some clips of my visit whilst in Norway – tomorrow Sweden!

October 25th. Cool beetles at Copenhagen Zoo:

October 25th. Jacob shows the snails bred for feeding the Caiman Lizards:

October 25th. Jacob, the highly experienced entomologist and invertebrate breeder from Copenhagen Zoo, shows us some of the invert specimens maintained off display. These include scorpions and venomous centipedes used in the training of troops for Afghanistan,  a wide variety of food types for the animals, and also unusual cockroaches for display:

October 25th. Caiman lizards (Dracaena) off display at Copenhagen Zoo:

October 25th. The amphibian collection behind the scenes at Copenhagen Zoo – check out those Vietnamese Mossy Frogs:

October 24th. Poison-dart frogs on Display at Copenhagen Zoo. More tomorrow – from behind the scenes!

October 24th. Here is clip on the portable tadpole breeding unit at Copenhagen Zoo that can be used to rear tadpoles by the side of ponds, In-situ, and that has been developed by Michael Jørgensen and his team with the help of Soren Werther. More than 1000 tadpoles were raised this year. Here Soren explains how the solar panels allow the automatic water changes and how the metamorphs can climb out of the unit after having developed well away from aquatic predators:

October 22nd – Aalborg (North Denmark). Whilst in Denmark I am also visiting my friends Nan and Jens who live in Aalborg. Jens works at Aalborg Zoo and both he and Nan have been instrumental in establishing The Payamino Project in Ecuador (http://www.payaminoproject.org.uk/). Manchester University support the project through taking students to the conservation area during one of our fieldcourses and in other ways. Nan and Jens have been renovating a beautiful farmhouse and have a herd of deer in the field which surrounds the thatched building – it is idyllic . Anyone wishing to stay with them whilst visiting Aalborg can stay in the beautiful thatched B&B attached to the farm (contact me for details). I have to say that it is so nice to see and stay with these good friends of mine – and to see how Anna, their gorgeous little girl, is growing up. I can’t believe she still fits into the frog feet I bought for her as a tiny baby 🙂 Check out the video below to see the cutest little frog in Denmark learning to Hop! and check out those feet – hope they bring a 🙂 !

October 12th at 11.15 am. Baby Giant Madagascan Day Gecko hatches whilst on display:

October 12th 11.30am. Red-eyed and Black-eyed Leaf Frogs filmed especially for Ben and Katy:

October 10th at 2pm. Poison-dart frog eggs filmed and broadcast live especially for Ben Garcia-Vico:

October 6th 2009 – discovering red-eyed treefrogs have laid eggs:

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