The message of the golden toad

The message of the golden toad

J. Alan Pounds is an associate member of the Tropical Science Center, Friends of the Monteverde Cloud Forest board member, and Resident Scientist at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. 

The first species extinction in which climate change was found to play a role was the disappearance of the Golden Toad (Incilius periglenes) of the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. This species, endemic to the Monteverde region, was abundant in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve until April 1987 but then disappeared. In 2004, the IUCN declared the Golden Toad to be probably extinct.

The decline of the population was sudden: whereas 1,500 individuals were observed in an area of the Preserve called Brillante during April 1987, only a single toad appeared there in 1988.  

Our studies and those of other scientists have found that this and similar declines of amphibians are related to epidemics of a chytrid fungus that is interacting with climate change and resultant extreme weather events. 

Although the loss of the Golden Toad is disappointing, this unique and spectacular amphibian has become an important messenger about the threats to biodiversity and to humanity’s life support system. Our Environmental Education Program is helping to convey the message of the Golden Toad. 

Please help us protect the cloud forest and ensure we do not lose more species by supporting our Environmental Education Program. A donation from you today to keep this essential program going will make a significant difference in tomorrow’s future.


Be Part of the Solution!

Here is how you can support our “Cloud Forest Ambassador” campaign:

Your donation supports environmental education and creates awareness of the importance of preserving the cloud forest and our planet’s natural places. Give the gift of education and hope for the future. 

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Friends of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
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11030 East Boulevard, 
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 

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