Golden frog is really a toad, Panama celebrates despite

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III_Festival_Rana_Dora_optPanama’s golden frog is not a frog at all – it is actually a toad. But that detail is not stopping a celebration taking place this month in honor of this national symbol that appears on state lottery tickets and in local mythology. According to tradition, one is bestowed with good luck upon seeing a golden frog, because it turns to gold when it dies. In 2010, the Panamanian government passed legislation recognizing August 14 as National Golden Frog Day, and a festival was created to raise awareness and try to save the amphibian species native to Panama.

The “III Golden Frog Festival” will take place from Sunday, August 11 until Sunday, August 18 in different venues that include: El Valle, Punta Culebra Nature Center on the Amador Causeway, the Earl S. Tupper Investigation and Conferences Center at the Smithsonian Institute in Ancón and the “Rana Dorada” brew pub in Casco Antiguo.

The whole idea of this festival is to create awareness about this endangered species, support the continuation of the breding program and bolster financial help to preserve this toad through the Golden Frog project. Threatened by a fungus that is making its natural habitat an impossible environment to survive in, the toad requires coordinated conservation efforts by government agencies and non-governmental organizations in order for it to survive.

The main celebration event on Wednesday, August 14 is a parade through the streets of El Valle de Anton, and a display of golden frogs at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in the El Nispero Zoo, El Valle.

Some of organizers of the festival are: the National Environmental Authority (ANAM), the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Summit Park, The El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center and La Rana Dorada brew pub.

Sunday August 11

Punta Culebra

Nature Center Center

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Frogs exhibits, dissertations by scientists, art for children, sand sculptures contest and much more

Wednesday August 14

El Valle de Antón

8:00 a.m.

Parade

Information:

elvalledeanton@hotmail.com

6:00 p.m.

Earl S. Tupper Investigation and Research Center at the Smithsonian Institute in Ancon.

Public Forum. Speakers: Dr. Roberto Ibañez, Dr Justin Touchon and Lucrecia Arosemena.

Information: FlorezNA@si.edu

Thursday August 15

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Rana Dorada, Casco Antiguo

“Science and Beers”, discussion with the experts: Dr Richard Cooke and Angie Estrada

Information: FlorezNA@ si.edu

Friday August 16

Summit Municipal Park

Summit and its friends are helping to conserve the golden frog.

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Information: angiestrada@gmail.com or cal 232-4850/232-4854

Saturday August 17

El Valle de Antón

11:00 a.m.

“Encounter in honor of the Golden Frog”

Meeting point: The road in front of the church and a walk towards the Police Station. A tour that is a colorful trip through the golden frog natural history.

The organizers request that the participants wear yellow clothes.

Information: sentimientovallero@gmail.com

Saturday 17 and Sunday August 18

El Valle de Anton

El Nispero Zoo – Amphibians Conservation Center – (EVACC)

Opening times: Saturday 17 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Educational activities. Visits to an exhibition room accompany by the onsite biologists.

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