As I venture deeper into the world of preventing species extinction, I’ve met some fascinating people. One of these is Edgardo Griffith, Panama’s foremost field biologist in amphibian research and a Panama native.
Working with his equally-passionate wife, Heidi, he’s worked for 15 years to save the Panama golden frog from extinction. It’s truly their calling in life and they’ve worked tirelessly to save this iconic species (and others) despite HUGE obstacles. What keeps them going? Their desire is to see this frog protected, removed from the critically endangered species list, and re-wilded in Panama.
In Panama, scientists like Edgardo are in a race against time to prevent the iconic golden frog from disappearing forever. Research shows humans are responsible for their rapid decline, thanks to habitat loss and the accidental introduction of an invasive, highly toxic fungus into Central and South America.
Behind the conservation movement, there are amazing, passionate people who will not stop until endangered wildlife are safe and living in the wild as they have for millennia. Everyone thinks “somewhere” there is “someone” protecting elephants, rhinos, gorillas, whales, and Panama Golden Frogs, and it's true. But for the most part they’re underfunded, overworked, under-appreciated, and often feeling hopeless. But their passion keeps them going, keeps them inspired, and allows them to do what’s necessary to be stewards of these dwindling species.
If you’d like to help Edgardo and Heather, please consider donating to their foundation, the El Valle Amphibian Research Conservation Center (EVACC). Better yet, plan a trip to Panama where you can see the tremendous work they’re doing in person. There’s no better time to get involved with species conservation. This is our last chance.