RESEARCH

lemur_laying _eggs_crarc

Lemur leaf frogs laying eggs at the CRARC               (c) Brian Kubicki

Ongoing in-situ research focusing the natural history of this species is crucial to help us understand how we may best help conserve it. A major part of this project has also been to facilitate the professional management of a genetically-viable ex-situ captive population of Costa Rican Agalychnis lemur for the future. As PCR primers for microsatellites were lacking for this species, supporting the necessary research to develop a genetic marker system that would enable current captive specimens to be genetically defined for the programme was one key aim of this project. Alex Petchey, a Master’s student from Salford University in Manchester has been conducting detailed DNA fingerprint research that has been highly successful. The work was supported exclusively by Project Lemur Frog. The genetic research was initiated in 2012 and PCR work was completed by the end of that year.  Genotyping commenced in 2013 with primers described and individuals then characterised. In-situ fieldwork was conducted in June 2013 and an ex-situ studbook is currently being established. Management protocols for the studbook are being developed at Bristol Zoo with genetically-defined animals selected for the programme in May 2014.  The related research publication describing the characterisation of 9 polymorphic micro-satellite markers for the species has now been published and is found below. It will facilitate the next phase of Project Lemur Frog, which aims to use the genetic fingerprints of individual animals to monitor their re-establishment to an area they previously existed in Costa Rica.

Research Paper in Conservation Genetics (July, 2014)

Other related research:

Gray A. R (2011). Notes on Hybridization in Leaf frogs of the genus Agalychnis   (Anura, Hylidae, Phyllomedusinae), Cornell University and the National Science Institutes’ ArXiv:1102.4039v1, can be viewed as a high quality printable PDF