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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Fota a 'tropical' safe haven for endangered reptiles and amphibians

Danielle Stephens

Published 27/08/2014 | 02:30

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Morelet's leaf frog
Mountain Chicken frog

Fota Wildlife Park in Cork is a safe haven for some of the world's most endangered reptile and amphibians species, a new report has shown.

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The axolotl (a type of salamander), the mountain chicken (a type of frog) and the Morelet's leaf frog are all on the top 10 list of reptiles and amphibians that most benefit from zoos in Ireland and Britain.

The park helps these animals by providing a breeding programme to increase the size of the population.

It is believed the critically endangered amphibian, the axolotl, has already reproduced since arriving in Fota's Tropical House last year, but it's small size makes it difficult to confirm.

Stephen Ryan from Fota Wildlife Park said they had only been 
able to take in these endangered species for just under a year.

"We focus on the conservation element, as well as educating the public about their development," he said.

Despite not being as visually appealing as the furrier animals in Fota, Mr Ryan said the reptiles were popular with the public.

The list was compiled by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Dublin Zoo recently welcomed an Asian lion cub, a species with only 350 left in the wild worldwide.

Irish Independent

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