Dr Gerardo Garcia

Curator of Lower Vertebrates & Invertebrates

  • Qualifications Ph.D.
  • Specialisms
    Biodiversity Surveys & Ecological Monitoring Conservation Breeding & Management Wildlife Health & Wellbeing

My focus work is in the vast taxonomic groups of reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates, and managing the collection in the zoo ensuring the highest standards of husbandry & wellbeing. Although my interest goes beyond these taxonomic groups and the focus on how restore some of the world’s most threatened species and habitats.

I have been Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates for Chester Zoo since 2012 and was previously Head of the Herpetology Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust from 2003 after working in other zoos in Spain and France. Previously I was Head of the Herpetology Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust based in Jersey, United Kingdom (UK) between 2003 to 2012.

I’m experienced in prioritising and developing conservation and research projects since I started working at the Barcelona Zoo in 1992 where I was involved in the early years of the Recovery Programme for the Mallorcan midwife toad. Since then I’ve been directly involved with zoo breeding programs of threatened endemic species in several countries linking ex situ with in situ conservation, research and training initiatives around the world.

Based the Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent I completed my DPhil on the “Ecology, human impact, and conservation of the Madagascan side-necked turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Ankarafantsika National Park”.

I am actively involved in the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) as chair of the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group (ATAG) and vice-chair for the Conservation Translocation Working Group and member of the Conservation Committee for EAZA plus coordinator of the EEP Studbooks of the mountain chicken frog and Komodo dragon. I’m also member of several IUCN Specialist Groups.

The major goal is to bring effective in situ conservation and research for these programs connecting with the core of the zoological institutions.


Key publications

Jameson Tom J. M., Blankenship J, Christensen T, Lopez J & Garcia G. (2019) Wild diet of the critically endangered mountain chicken (Leptodactylus fallax). Herpetological Journal Vol 29. 299-303.

Turner H, Griffiths R. A., Outerbdrige, M, Garcia, G. (2019) Estimating population parameters for the critically endangered Bermuda skink using robust design capture–mark–recapture modelling. Oryx 53: 4. 1-8.

Hudson M.A, Griffiths R.A, Martin L, Fenton C, Adams S-L, Blackman A, Sulton M, Perkins M.W, Lopez J, Garcia, G, Tapley B, Young R.P, Cunningham A.A. (2019) Reservoir frogs: seasonality of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in robber frogs in Dominica and Montserrat. PeerJ 7:e7021 DOI 10.7717/peerj.7021

Rhodin, A. et al. (2018). Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines) Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 17(2): 135–161 doi:10.2744/CCB-1348.1

Passos L.F, Garcia G, Young R.J. (2018). Comparing the bacterial communities of wild and captive golden mantella frogs: Implications for amphibian conservation. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205652.

Dominguez O, Hernandez R, Medina M, Herrerias Y, Tafolla D, Escalante A, Escalera L & Garcia G. (2018). Progress in the reintroduction program of the tequila splitfin in the springs of Teuchitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. Global Reintroduction Perspectives: 2018: Case studies from around the globe. Pp. 38-42.

Passos L.F, Garcia G, Young R.J. (2017). The tonic immobility test: Do wild and captive golden mantella frogs (Mantella aurantiaca) have the same response? PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181972.

Passos L. F, Garcia G, Young R.J. (2017). Neglecting the call of the wild: Captive frogs like the sound of their own voice. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181931.

Hudson, M. A. R. P. Young, J. D’Urban Jackson, P. Orozco-terWengel, L. Martin, A. James, M. Sulton, G. Garcia, R. A. Griffiths, R. Thomas, C. Magin, M. W. Bruford, A. A. Cunningham (2016). Dynamics and genetics of a disease-driven species decline to near extinction: lessons for conservation. Sci. Rep. 6, 30772; doi: 10.1038/srep30772.

Hudson MA, Young R, Javier Lopez J, Martin Ll, Fenton C, McCrea R, Griffiths RA, Adams S-L, Gray G, Garcia G, Cunningham AC (2016). In-situ itraconazole treatment improves survival rate during an amphibian chytridiomycosis epidemic. Biological Conservation, Volume 195: 37-45.

Tapley, B., Rendle, M., Rood, D., Baines, F.M., Goetz, M., Routh, A., Bradfield, K. B., Lopez, J. and García, G. (2015). Meeting ultraviolet B radiation requirements of amphibians in captivity: A case study with mountain chicken frogs (Leptodactylus fallax) and general recommendations for pre-release health screening Zoo Biology 34 (1): 46-52.

Guarino, F., García, G. and Andreone, F. (2014). Huge but moderately long-lived: age structure in the mountain chicken, Leptodactylus fallax, from Montserrat, West Indies. The Herpetological Journal. Vol.24: 167-173.

Rachael E. Antwis, R. E., García, G., Fidgett, A. L. and Preziosi. (2014). Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging frogs causes disruption to the cutaneous bacterial community and proliferation of opportunistic fungi. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2014, 80(15):4779

Garner, TW., García, G., Carroll, B. and Fisher, MC. (2009) Using itraconazole to clear Batrachochytrium dendrobatidisinfection, and subsequent depigmentation of Alytes muletensis tadpoles. Diseases of aquatic organisms, Volume 83, Issue 3, 257-60.

Weldon, C., Crottini A., Bollen A., Rabemananjara F.C., Copsey J., García G., and Andreone F. (2013). Pre-emptive national monitoring plan for detecting the amphibian chytrid fungus in Madagascar. Ecohealth. 10(3):234-40.

Griffiths, R., García, G. and Olivier, J. (2008) Re-introduction of the Mallorcan midwife toad. Global re- introduction perspectives. Re-introduction case-studies from around the globe. (2008) ed. Soorae, P. SSC/ IUCN. pp: 54-58.

Walker, S., Bosch, J., James, T., Litvintseva, A., Oliver, J., Piña, S., García, G., Abadie G., Cunningham, A., Hole, S., Griffiths, R. and Fisher, M. (2008) Invasive pathogens threaten species recovery programs. Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 18, R853-R854, 23.

Tzika, A., Koenig, S., Miller, R., García, G., Remy, C. and Milinkovitch (2008) Population structure of an endemic vulnerable species, the Jamaican boa (Epicrates subflavus) Molecular Ecology 17 (2), 533–544 (12).

García, G., Cunningham, A., Horton, D., Garner, T., Hyatt, A., Hengstberger, S., Lopez, J., Ogrodowczyk, A., Fenton, C. and Fa, J. (2007) Mountain chickens Leptodactylus fallax and sympatric amphibians appear to be disease free on Montserrat. Oryx 41: 3 pp 398-401.

García, G. and Goodman, S. (2003) Hunting of protected animals in the National Park Ankarafantsika, north-western Madagascar. Oryx 37:1 115 – 118.

Partners and Collaborators