Crowned Treefrog, Anotheca spinosa
I'm very happy to share this photo with everyone. Not because of the photo itself, but because of the species. In recent years we have been experiencing an increase in encounters with Anotheca spinosa. What started as a single record in 2008 (the first) turned to three records in 2010, between six and eight in 2011, and then this subadult that was one of five found within only two weeks this past March!
With what seems like daily reports of species being declared extinct and extirpated it is with a smile and breath of fresh air, although a brief one, that I report on the increasing abundance of this spectacular anuran!
At some point, we've all heard someone say (probably several times), "a picture is worth 1000 words". We could quite easily fill up gigabytes of memory and a whole room with PDFs and technical volumes about the importance of conservation and our responsibility to find a balance between social/industrial growth and ecological harmony... well for me, this is that picture. Take a look at this frog, at everything that makes it so wonderful- contrasting color and pattern, huge reddish brown eyes, over-sized toe pads, hell, it even has a crown. Now take into account the things we can't see- a "super tuanis" song, a complicated and specialized breeding strategy that involves water-filled cavities atop of trees and a mother frog feeding her tadpoles unfertilized eggs. ALL of this will be gone in what will feel like the blink of an eye if we don't "Save the rainforest".
All of it.
Have I over-simplified this concept? Yes. Does that make it any less accurate and sadly true? No. No rainforest= no Anotheca. No gems, no marvels, no mysteries. Captive breeding programs are in place, and are more or less successful. The thing is, you can captive breed all you want, maintain a species' existence if you will, but that will never afford you the opportunity to walk slowly through the forest at night, through the rain, guided by the beam of your headlamp, and finally after hours of searching, see this wonder perched on a branch in the center of your light, like it was waiting there all along for you to find it. No forest, no Anotheca. As important to me as Anotheca is on a personal level, it is but a mere fraction of what we will lose if the forest continues to disappear.
Pura Vida and Take Action!
Anotheca spinosacrowned treefrograra avis rainforest reservecosta ricacoronated treefrogconservationoophagy
From Whitedrops and Blackouts