The golden mantella frog uses it's golden orange colouring to warn predators of it's poisonous skin.
The beautiful golden mantella frog is usually bright yellow, orange or red in colour with obvious black eyes. The legs of these bright frogs are short and their fingertips have distinctive pads. Males are typically smaller than females and have a more angular body. These small amphibians retain the toxins from the insets they eat so are poisonous!
Sadly Golden mantella frogs are listed as critically endangered and can now only be found in a small area in the forests of Madagascar. They need healthy rain forests and clean freshwater ponds to thrive but their habitat is rapidly declining. It is believed that they can now only be found in an area less than 10km2. The remaining habitat is at risk due to logging, mining and slash and burn agriculture. Despite the tiny size of this species, the threats it is facing are huge!
We care for the golden mantella both here in the zoo and out in the wild. We work with our partners Madagasikara Voakajy to safeguard the frogs in their native habit. We regularly send our staff out in to the field to conduct population surveys using a technique created by zoo experts here. The elastomer marking technique involves using implanted fluorescent silicone under the skin of the frog making it easier to identify. Getting more accurate results is vital to finalising a long term plan into how to manage and protect the population of golden mantellas in the wild.