Frog species in ‘perilous state’ bred at Cotswold Wildlife Park

A frog species which is in a “perilous state” has been successfully bred at a wildlife park in Oxfordshire.

Keepers at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford have again bred the near threatened cinnamon frog, after it became only the second zoological collection in Europe to breed the species in 2019.

Only five other zoos in Europe keep the species with one other successfully breeding the frogs in the last 12 months, according to the wildlife park.

The amphibians, known for their distinct reddish-brown colour, similar to cinnamon, and black-and-white spots across its body, are native to southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Sumatra.

Two cinnamon froglets sat on glass
The cinnamon froglets have been named after spices including paprika, cayenne, saffron, chipotle and chilli (Cotswolds Wildlife Park/PA)

Jamie Craig, general manager of Cotswold Wildlife Park, described the species as being in a “perilous state” due to the Chytrid fungus, which is an infectious disease in frogs.

He said: “Our dedicated reptile team have been working hard to perfect breeding techniques in our Amphibian Room.

“Many frog species have incredibly specific requirements, and it is a testament to their hard work that they have now managed to replicate our previous success with the cinnamon frogs.

“With the perilous state of many amphibian species in the world due to the Chytrid fungus, any expertise garnered from the captive populations may well be important tools for the future of these fascinating creatures.”

Cinnamon froglet sat on the hand of a reptile keeper
The cinnamon frog is known for its distinct reddish-brown colour and grows to around 35mm in length (Cotswold Wildlife Park/PA)

The cinnamon frog is also known for its unique call, which was described by reptile keeper Megan Howard as “delicate, beautiful and unusual and so interesting to watch as they develop” after filming the wildlife park’s new froglets calling to each other.

Reptile keepers have paid homage to the cinnamon frog’s name and called the froglets after different coloured spices including paprika, cayenne, saffron, chipotle and chilli, and they are being looked after in a specialist Amphibian Breeding Room.

A worldwide campaign known as Save The Frogs Day happens yearly on April 28 to raise awareness about the decline in frogs and aims to protect amphibians from extinction.