Progress of the Atelopus certus program
at Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project


Atelopus certus

Common Name(s)

Region where program is based


Country where program is based


The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

Conservation Needs Assessment Workshop

Has a genetic analysis been performed on wild populations to define the target taxon, i.e., verify that single, viable Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESU's) that are managed as separate populations, are not confounded by cryptic species or polymorphisms?


Name of the institution managing the ex situ population

Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project

Year the program started


Is at least some portion of the captive population maintained in range country?


Are sufficient resources available to manage the ex situ population?


Are adequate numbers of skilled staff available with the appropriate ex situ amphibian experience?


Is sufficient space available for the required population size?


Additional Support required

Has a Taxon Management Coordinator for the ex situ population been appointed?


Taxon Management Coordinator

Brian Gratwicke of Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


Has a Taxon Management Plan, Recovery Plan or Species Action Statement been written?


Web link to Taxon Management Plan

Have Husbandry Guidelines been written?

Web link to Husbandry Management Guidelines

Have any knowledge gaps in the species biology or in their interaction with potential threats been identified that could benefit from research using the ex situ population?


List of knowledge gaps

Need to continue wild surveys, we have not yet documented Bd in this species in the wild.

Have founder needs been calculated using the AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines ?


Have sufficient potential founders been collected? ( AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines recommends a minimum of 20 pairs of found animals).


Is the ex situ population managed by nationals from the range country?


What tools are used to maximize retention of genetic diversity?


Has the population produced viable offspring?


Have the first generation captive-bred animals bred successfully?


Is the ex situ population housed in permanent isolation from other populations occurring outside its range?


Is work being supported to study and mitigate threats to the species in the wild, either by the institution or by a regional wildlife agency?


Have captive-bred or captive-reared animals been released into the wild?


If releases were undertaken, have disease screening protocols or veterinary health checks been conducted prior to releases to the wild?

Is follow-up work being carried out to monitor progress of the released animals?

Is the taxon again secure in the wild, even if it might still require some ongoing in situ management? i.e. has the need for a captive assurance population been obviated such that we can call this a successfully terminated captive rescue program?



2018: Captive population Jan 2018: 195 adults 157 juveniles. 2016: We are going back to Capo Sapo to collect some more females. We have two apmplexant pairs in breeding setups, they seem to be doing really well. A 1-hour Smithsonian documentary on this rescue should be coming out in January. We can never have too much training, and we are very grateful for the Amphibian Ark's first workshop. We would love to participate in any future training opportunities. We currently have sufficient space for the founding population, but we anticipate that as we obtain offspring, space will rapidly become a limiting factor. We plan to use the automated studbooks in the new ISIS roll out. We have not yet conducted studbook training, because we are waiting for the software to be finished.
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