panamanian golden frog: here’s the scoop


Panamanian Golden Frog, also known as Cerro Campana Stubfoot Toad, was once reasonably common at a number of locations, but it is now possibly extinct in the wild. The last wild individual was seen in 2009. It disappeared from Cerro Campana and the central valley in El Valle de Antón likely due to over-collecting to supply the trade in live amphibians as pets. Remaining subpopulations have subsequently disappeared due to chytridiomycosis-related declines. Extensive ongoing monitoring at known sites by Project Atelopus have not found any surviving subpopulations, but further monitoring is needed. If a population still exists it is thought to have fewer than 50 mature individuals.

Committed to Conservation

Amphibians are disappearing from our planet at an alarming rate – one that far exceeds the rates of birds and mammals – and this worldwide decline is so dramatic, it is being referred to as the Global Amphibian Crisis. BPZOO is participating in a Species Survival Plan program, or SSP, and hopes to receive a breeding recommendation in the future so that we can contribute to the assurance population of these toads in human care and avoid the path to extinction.

The goal of an SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild. This is critical for species such as the Panamanian golden frog.


Panamanian Golden Frog

Scientific name

Atelopus zeteki


Tropical montane forest with breeding and larval development taking place in forest streams, 1,100 to 4,300 feet above sea level


insects and small invertebrates


10 -15 years

Did you know?

Panamanian golden frogs exhibit a unique behavior only seen in a few frog and toad species called ‘semaphore’ – a type of sign language – to signal to each other. They will “wave” their hands or raise and move their feet to defend their territory, try to attract a mate, or even to greet one another.


Panama, in the vicinity of the volcanic caldera of El Valle de Antón and Cerro Campana

Conservation status

Critically Endangered (possibly Extinct in the Wild)