1. ITV Report

Paignton Zoo celebrates world-first breeding of poison dart frog

The Summer's poison dart frog bred at Paignton Zoo. Credit: Paignton Zoo

A critically endangered frog has been bred in captivity for the first time by staff at Paignton Zoo.

The Summers' poison frog was successfully bred in a project at the zoo's amphibian facility.

It's thought to be the first project to breed the frog which was only separated from other similar frog species in 2008.

The frog was bred at the zoo's state-of-the-art amphibian facility where experts created a perfect microhabitat which maintained the ideal temperature, UV levels, rainfall and humidity to encourage breeding.

Staff at the zoo also provided suitable sites for eggs and tadpoles, so the frogs could display natural behaviours and care for their young as they would in the wild.

The striking amphibian is found in just a few locations in central Peru and has been listed as globally endangered.

It lives and breeds in significantly drier habitats than similar frogs and lays its eggs in holes in trees.

A similar Poison dart frog at the Sea Life London Aquarium. Credit: PA Images

Dr Katy Upton, from Paignton Zoo, said:

According to the global computer database for zoo records, we are the first collection to successfully breed this species.

This may be because of the recent taxonomic change of this species, but we are proud to have the Summers' poison frog here and excited to be able to display this incredible frog to our visitors.

We have four other species from the same genus in the collection, which we are hoping to breed in the near future, then we can share with other collections so they can work with this amazing dart frog too."

– Dr Katy Upton, Paignton Zoo