Coquis will be featured at Monroe's Puerto Rican Night on Friday.
There is no tadpole stage for the Mona Island coqui frogs; instead, they go through direct development inside the egg and hatch as tiny froglets. Photo by Jen Stabile/ABQ BioPark.
September 26, 2013
More than fifty rare Mona Island coqui frogs hatched recently in the Coqui Conservation Lab at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. The BioPark is the only U.S. facility breeding the threatened frogs. Mona Island coqui frogs (Eleutherodactylus monensis) are one of 17 species of coquis native to Puerto Rico. Today, three coqui species are thought to be extinct and 11 are species of conservation concern due to emerging amphibian disease, climate change and habitat loss.
Coquis are a national symbol in Puerto Rico and fill the night with their calls (listen). To spread coqui awareness, the BioPark is teaming up with Monroes’s on Osuna for a Puerto Rican Night this Friday, Sept. 27, from 5 - 10 p.m. Enjoy food and music from the island and visit a display about coqui frogs with special guests--a group of common coquis--from the Zoo. (The endangered Mona Island coquis must remain in their bio-secure lab at the Zoo.)
“Both aspects of our conservation work--the breeding program and the outreach--are important,” said Jennifer Stabile, Senior Zookeeper for Amphibians. “Everyone plays a role in the conservation of this iconic species. People love to see the frogs, especially anyone who has ever been to Puerto Rico. They can hardly believe that we have them at the Zoo.”
The Mona Island coqui froglets are carefully monitored by staff in a controlled environment, where they are thriving. By breeding and studying Mona coqui, BioPark herpetologists hope to preserve genetic diversity and exchange knowledge with biologists in Puerto Rico on reproductive strategies.
“Each Mona coqui birth is vital to coqui conservation because they help the scientific community understand how to care for, breed and conserve this unique and rare treefrog,” said Stabile.
Guests can see the new froglets at the Coqui Conservation Lab, located inside the Amphibians: Life on a Limb exhibit, which is included with admission. For more information, email [email protected] or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).