TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Conservationist Yang Jhih-ping (楊志平), nicknamed "Frog Daddy," has succeeded in preserving the poison dart frog at Taipei Zoo.
Taipei Zoo imported three types of poison dart frogs – golden, yellow-banded, and green-and-black – from Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo in 2014. However, the zoo had no experience breeding the frogs and the program nearly failed, according to UDN.
Thanks to conservationist Yang Jhih-ping's perseverance, the poison dart frog population slowly but steadily grew from a mere nine to more than 400 now. Yang developed his own breeding methods through trial and error, seeking advice from Japanese experts and exchanging ideas with other Taiwanese frog-lovers.
Based on a cage culture technique, Yang built a "tadpole room" with an automatic drainage system that saved the trouble of changing the water manually. Another of Yang’s ingenious ideas was the "froglet apartment," where the half-water, half-land environment allows baby frogs to adapt to their post-metamorphosis lives more easily. Adult frogs live in a "honeymoon dorm" that is equipped with an automatic spraying system to stimulate breeding, according to Taipei Zoo.
Visitors from zoos in Taiwan and abroad make the pilgrimage to Taipei Zoo to learn about Yang's methods, and are often amazed at the "frog house with love." Yang is happy to pass on his methods to conservationists, and people are also encouraged to visit Yang's frog house on the second floor of the "Pangolin House" at Taipei Zoo.
Yang said he is happy to dedicate his time and effort to conserving frogs because he loves his job. Given the praise of other experts he is motivated to further challenge himself and breed other poison dart frog species in the near future.