The Golden Toad – Lost But Not Forgotten

golden toad shirt

All amphibian biologists and frog-lovers alike remember and appreciate the beautiful golden toad of Costa Rica. It is important to take a moment to celebrate this amazing amphibian and reflect on the many other amphibian species that have gone extinct in recent decades. Their loss reminds us to keep working harder and smarter in order to stop the amphibian extinction crisis. Although the golden toad is gone forever, we can work together to save other endangered amphibians.

Please spread the word about the amphibian extinction crisis, donate today to contribute to our conservation efforts and join a future SAVE THE FROGS! Costa Rica Ecotour to visit the majestic forest where the golden toad once thrived. Thank you for your support!

golden toad shirt
Golden Toad art, created by FLOAT.

Golden Toad: A Sober Reminder of the Amphibian Extinction Crisis
The golden toad (Incilius periglenes, formerly Bufo periglenes) was a small toad that was from a small, high-altitude region north of the city of Monteverde, Costa Rica. An endemic species, it could only be found in pristine cloud and elfin forest. The golden toad was first described by scientists in 1966, but soon after the toad’s discovery its population began to dwindle. The last sighting of a single golden toad was on May 15th, 1989, and it has since been classified as extinct. The toad’s restricted range, climate change, chytridiomycosis, and over-harvesting for the pet trade contributed to its extinction. Many have searched for the golden toad, but unfortunately none have been found. This beautiful toad is considered the “poster child” of the amphibian extinction crisis.

Golden toad image M. Crump 550
The golden toad was last observed in 1989 and there is little hope it will be rediscovered.

In 1987, herpetologist, Dr. Marty Crump, studied the golden toad’s mating rituals. In her book, In Search Of The Golden Frog, she described the toads as “statues, dazzling jewels on the forest floor” as she recorded the behavior of this amazing amphibian. Dr. Crump shared these photos with me and I am delighted to have the opportunity to present them to you. A truly stunning amphibian, the golden toad reminds scientists and frog-lovers alike that the amphibians we all love are gravely threatened and desperately need our protection.

Golden toads M. Crump 550
Golden Toad photos graciously provided by amphibian biologist Dr. Marty Crump.

While the golden toad is a stern reminder that amphibians are increasingly threatened with extinction, all hope is not lost. SAVE THE FROGS! staff, volunteers and supporters around the world are dedicated to reversing the amphibian extinction crisis and through our combined efforts we are beginning to see results. With your support, we can protect even more amphibian species and their habitats. Together we can SAVE THE FROGS!