About Project Golden Frog

Project Golden Frog/Proyecto Rana Dorada (PGF/PRD) began in 1998 as a cooperative consortium between several United States and Panamanian institutions as a response to the predicted impacts of the impending amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (B.d.) in central Panama.

The founders, Roberto Ibanez, Ph.D. (of University of Panama/Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), Erik Lindquist, Ph.D. (of Lee University at the time) Anthony Wisnieski (formerly of the Baltimore Zoo), and Kevin Zippel, Ph.D. (formerly of the Detroit Zoo; currently leading IUCN's Amphibian Ark), wisely focused their attention on one species, Atelopus zeteki, which would be lost to the killer fungus within a few years due to its montane locality and low disease-resistance.

PGF/PRD's primary goal to preserve the culturally-significant golden frog though an ex situ conservation breeding program, field studies, and educational programs has made the attractive frog a flagship species for amphibian decline issues within Panama and become a model for similar efforts worldwide.

Current PGF/PRD personnel include the following:

  • Vicky Poole (Fort Worth Zoo) – PGF/PRD & PGF SSP Coordinator
  • Kevin Barrett (Maryland Zoo in Baltimore) – SSP Vice Coordinator & Population Manager
  • Heidi Ross (EVACC) – Panama PGF Population Manager & In-country specialist
  • Claire Lannoye-Hall (Detroit Zoological Society) – Education Advisor
  • Ellen Bronson, DVM (Maryland Zoo in Baltimore) – Vet Advisor
  • Eduardo Valdez, PhD (Disney) – Nutrition Advisor
  • Andy Kouba, PhD (Mississippi State University) – Assisted Reproduction Advisor
  • Tom Weaver (Denver Zoo) – Treasurer
  • Robert Hill (Zoo Atlanta): Fundraising Coordinator
  • Mark Mandica (The Amphibian Foundation): Website Designer & Manager

Our wonderfully committed consultants are:

  • Kevin Wright, DVM, Veterinary Consultant
  • Erik Lindquist, Ph.D., Project Consultant
  • Roberto Ibanez, Ph.D., Project Consultant

Our generous contributing photographers are:

  • Joel Sartore | Photo Ark
  • Bill Hughes
  • Vicky Poole
  • C. Richards-Zawacki
  • N. Ellis
  • Mark Beshel
  • Edgardo Griffith
  • Meredith Whitney
  • Atelopus zeteki illustration by Mark Mandica

Thanks for the endeavors and support from past coordinators and advisors:

  • Erik Lindquist, Ph.D. (Founder)
  • Anthony Wisnieski  (Founder)
  • Kevin Zippel, Ph.D. (Founder)
  • Kevin Wright, DVM
  • Rick Haeffner
  • Meredith Whitney
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Bill Hughes
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Institutions with Panamanian Golden Frogs

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