Mountain Harlequin Frog, Atelopus Certus

Mountain Harlequin Frog, Atelopus Certus, is a species of toad belonging to the family Bufonidae.

This toad is native to the Darien region of eastern Panama, and its type locality is Cerro Sapo, providing it with its common name, Mountain Harlequin Frog.

Its natural habitats are tropical or subtropical moist lowland forests, tropical or subtropical moist montane forests, and rivers.

This species is threatened mostly by the advancing wave of chytridiomycosis moving through Central America, and secondarily by loss of their habitat, although much of its range falls within the Darien National Park, which is a protected area and a world heritage site. Due to so many other Atelopus species being in steep declines, this amphibian is perceived as a priority species for ex situ conservation. A team of conservation partners working under the banner of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project organized an expedition to the Darien in June 2010. They brought back a founding population of these frogs to start an ex situ conservation program at Summit Municipal Park near Panama City. A documentary film concerning this effort was aired in 2011 on Smithsonian Networks called ‘Mission Critical: Amphibian Rescue’.

Image Caption: Atelopus certus calling male. Credit: Brian Gratwicke/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)