Smugglers increasingly target poison arrow frogs


With their swirling lines and spots of electric yellow, red, and blue, poison arrow frogs have long been among the most coveted items in the wildlife trade. Their vibrant colors and the intense concentrations of poison in their skin glands—one specimen of Colombia’s golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis), for example, has enough poison to kill 20 men—make them especially attractive to intrepid collectors. But evidence suggests that the commerce in poison arrow frogs, which are endemic to Central and South America, has exploded in recent years. And increasingly, the trade is being taken up by unscrupulous smugglers, who earn huge profits and sacrifice the majority of the harvested animals to stressful transport conditions en route to the major markets in the United States... [Log in to read more]

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