• Follow FROG BLOG MANCHESTER on WordPress.com
  • Sponsor a Frog

  • Lemur frogs

  • Learning with Lucy

  • Wizard of Saskatoon

  • Harlequin frogs

  • Fabulous Frogs

  • Amphibian & Reptile Travels: Matt Wilson

  • MADDIE MOATE – Stay curious

  • Latest newsletter

Save the date!


PANAMA WILDLIFE EVENING  – THURSDAY 18 APRIL, 2019 – A amazing night of Panamanian frogs and festivities not to be missed!

Manchester Museum welcomes Critically Endangered Harlequin Frogs, Atelopus varius, to its collection and is the only institution in the world to house these striking animals outside Panama. These are the true form, and not a sub-species. We would like to mark the launch of the Harlequin Frog Project with a celebration of Panamanian culture and wildlife. The project is a unique collaboration with the Panama Wildlife Conservation Charity (PWCC) and the Ministry of the Environment in Panama. Come and enjoy the taste of Panamanian drink with latin music, see the wealth of rare frogs from behind the scenes, and find out more about the impact our research, environmental education, and conservation work is making in Latin America.



Iracambi internships

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of meeting with Binka La Breton, Director of Iracambi, an inspiring lady with a great passion for rainforest conservation. She visited us here at Manchester and gave a great talk to our students about the work being conducted at Iracambi and how they may get involved.

Iracambi is a community of people around the world whose vision is to see the beautiful Brazilian Atlantic Forest restored, with prosperous communities living in a flourishing landscape. At their headquarters in Minas Gerais, the Iracambi Research Center spearheads their work in managing natural resources, educating for sustainability, and researching ecosystems and how we impact them.

IracambiLogo_EN_Ver_ReverseThe Iracambi logo explains what they are about. The indigenous story tells that the forest is on fire, and all the animals are fleeing to safety. All except the humming bird. She is flying towards the fire with a drop of water in her beak. “Silly little bird,” shouts the eagle, looking down at her. “Don’t you see that you’ll never put out the fire all by yourself?”

You’re right,” says the humming bird. “I’ll  never put it out all by myself. But I’m doing my part.

At Iracambi they’ve been doing their part since 1999, and offer an opportunity for all those interested to be a part of the change.





Katie Garrett

Fundraiser success!

IMG_9066This week, to honour a former student and member of staff who worked in the School of Arts, Languages and Culture, we had a great fundraising event.  The staff member concerned was in our PS Admissions Team for about two years.  She died last October at the age of 24 and the team she worked with felt that they wanted to do something which would have been close to her heart and which would have a lasting legacy.

She originally did a Zoology degree here at Manchester and got involved in anything to do with animals.  She also loved the Vivarium at the Manchester Museum and used to volunteer here.

IMG_9083As you may know I support the Inspire Youth Group in Chorley, with 7-12 year olds who have few chances to go out anywhere – Its an amazing place, but unfortunately all the great activities provided are indoors. Kasia and I visited with frogs and reptiles recently and the children were obviously very interested in learning more about wildlife. Therefore, in memory and honour of our colleague, we plan to take the children out this summer to Brockholes nature reserve for the day, to do pond-dipping, butterfly and dragonfly identification.


We hope the visit will encourage each child to learn more about, and protect, local wildlife – and this would be our colleagues legacy.  As a result of this weeks fundraiser I am very pleased to say that we were able to raise enough funds to make this happen. Thank you so much to all who donated, were involved in and who attended the event, all those people who provided scrumptious cakes, and all who made the event so much fun – including our human fruit machine participants! 🙂


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Viennese Vivaria and Zamość Zoo

Vienna (5)Having returned safely from my week in Vienna I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on all I have learned from the  unique collection housed in the Schonbrunn Zoo Rainforest House.

I’d like to thank again the wonderful Rainforest house team for welcoming me to their place of work and I very much look forward to developing collaborations regarding Bornean species in the future. As they say in German, tausend dank!


My opportunities to experience continental zoological collections did not end with my flight leaving Vienna however. I quickly found myself in the beautiful medieval city and UNESCO world heritage site Zamość, in Poland, in the newly renovated Zamość Zoo. Deputy Director Łukasz Sułowski kindly offered me a special tour of their facilities, including the recently renovated and meticulously crafted Reptile House explaining how the interior was created by the staff by hand to achieve the spectacular rainforest effect which welcomed visitors imaginations to a tropical realm.

I was later also captivated by the Butterfly House, which contains a pool where visitors could catch a glimpse of a critically endangered Kaiser’s Spotted Newt (Neurergus kaiseri). Guests are often delighted with the sight of eggs and juvenile Spotted Newt as the ideal conditions in the gallery allows this species to breed freely on display. If you’re unable to make the journey out to Zamość in person, check out the amazing virtual tour of the Reptile House and Butterfly House in the links below!


Photo by Łukasz Sułowski©


It’s always a pleasure to meet more dedicated environmental conservationists and husbandry colleagues at inspiring institutions like Vienna Tiergarten and Zamość Zoo. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank again Director Gregorz Garbuz, Deputy Director Łukasz Sułowski and the keepers at Zamość Zoo for accommodating my visit, and I look forward to visiting again. And as they say in Poland, do zobaczenia!



Photo by Łukasz Sułowski©

Reptile House Tour      Butterfly House Tour      

Zoo Zamosc



Finding Borneo in Vienna

DSC_9740This week I’ve had the great fortune of finding myself in beautiful Vienna, at the Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo, to work on a collaboration between Dr. Doris Preininger with the team at the Rainforest House and Manchester Museum. While Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest zoo in the world (beginning as an imperial menagerie in 1752) it has modernized with the passing of time and now boasts an impressive collection and facilities, not least involving their herpetological collection.

While my background focus has been Bornean species in the wild, I have had limited DSC_9415experience working with Bornean amphibians in captivity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Preininger, Bettina and Sam and with their awe-inspiring Bornean, and other South-East Asian species. For example, this week I’ve had my first encounter with Wallace’s Flying Frogs (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus), a cryptic species I was never lucky enough to find during my 6 month research project in the Bornean forest on the Kinabatangan river. These magnificent frogs use their enormous black webbing on their feet to glide from branch to branch, evading predators that lurk in the canopy.

DSC_9628I’m taking the week also to learn about Dr. Preiningers area of expertise; animal behaviour studies. My time is divided up between assisting the herpetological keepers with their daily routine, and spending time with the Bornean foot-flagging frogs (Staurois parvus and S. guttatus) to observe their unique behaviour. Both of these frog species have evolved to overcome the challenge of communicating over noisy streams by accompanying their calls with a “wave” of their hind legs. I was delighted to witness this behaviour first hand for the first time yesterday in S. parvus (pictured above).

I’m looking forward to learning more over the course of the week, and in coming face to face with more wonderful creatures!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Foot-Flagging Frogs in Vienna

Park Panel

Spring is a stirring in the north of England – at least the snowdrops seem to think so!

On Monday I paid a visit to an old haunt of mine, a little village called Euxton in Lancashire where once I used to live. Here, Euxton Parish Council has been doing wonders with the local park (Millennium Green) and have now created a large pond. A beautiful boardwalk will allow visitors an opportunity to observe the establishing wildlife as the pond matures. It’s a great spot, even in February, and one can only imagine what it will be like at the height of summer.

Lucy (of Learning with Lucy fame) kindly unveiled the information panel, which of course included all the amphibian life we hope people will observe here in the future!

Euxton Parish Council