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Species of the Week
Mantella aurantiaca | Golden Mantella

Photo © Gonçalo M. Rosa

Amphibian News Archive
Zoos can be important animal conservation partners because they can educate the public and often run species-specific conservation and husbandry programs. However, historically, management studies in zoos have mainly focused on mammals. The COVID-19 pandemic provided zoos with a unique opportunity to observe changes in animals' behavior in the absence of visitors and to identify ways to improve animal welfare conditions. Staff at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (Boultwood et al. 2021) in the United Kingdom took advantage of this situation by recording how amphibians used their habitats when only essential workers were allowed in, when support staff were allowed, and then when visitors were slowly allowed back. They also took into account various life history traits and differences in habitat. They found that while species with aposematic traits appeared to cope better, all species had an initial "visitor effect" during which they hid more, followed by varying periods of habituation. Their findings emphasize the need to create enclosures based on ecological evidence so that the public can continue to learn from amphibians at zoos with minimal stress to the animals.

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Current number of amphibian species: 8,351 (Jul 29, 2021) Newly added species