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Blue-sided Leaf Frog

     The blue-sided leaf frog - a vulnerable species of tree frog found only in the heart of Costa Rica, is a species that has suffered from habitat loss through urbanization which acts to fragment populations, and the usage of agricultural pesticides. This leaf frog lives among the branches of Costa Rica’s rainforest trees where it hunts for small insects. This animal is nocturnal and can only really be seen at night moving around looking for mates or for food. During the day, they will hide amongst leaves for shelter. 


     To help reintroduce this species to the wild, a small San Jose based eco-resort called Jardin de Lourdes works with the Costa Rican Zoo to provide habitat for the frog as well as the proper breeding conditions. The owner of the eco-resort, Ricardo, has created a system of ponds and rain barrels that mimic the natural streams and pools these frogs need in order to reproduce.

     These frogs will mate in the treetops, and find large leaves over fresh water to lay their massive gelatinous egg mass. This mass of eggs will slowly transform into tadpoles, and when ready, will drop into the water below where they will begin looking for algae and insects to consume as soon as they absorb the remainder of their yolk. Imagine being born and the first thing you do is fall several feet into a pool of water.


     The tadpoles will remain in the pool of water for several weeks, and will eventually finish the metamorphosis process of becoming an adult frog. Once an adult, the frog will begin to climb upwards into the branches to start the process over.

Photographer: Justin Grubb

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