Dart Frogs' Status in the Wild

No dart frogs are currently listed as endangered species, and no species of dart frog is currently known to be extinct, but all species of dendrobatid frogs are listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species treaties Appendix II, or threatened. Appendix I is for endangered species, and Appendix III is for species of concern. Dart frogs are threatened with habitat distruction, and as with many tropical species, small areas of habitat destruction can eliminate whole populations, or in some cases entire species.

The Appendix II listing means that in order for animals to travel internationally, animals must be accompanied by export permits, issued by the government of the country of origin. If the animals are wild caught, collected in their country of origin, the permits should only be issued contingent on the government of the country in question verifying that the population of the species can support the collection of animals. In addition to re-export the animals from the US or other participating countries requires proof of their captive bred status, or of their legal importation. Paper work can take months to acquire, and then the animals go out through one of a dozen or so custom ports in the US, to allow for inspection by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Collection of wild animals for export, when done properly, is not always the bad thing it seems to be, since it gives native peoples a reason to value the forests which support the populations of frogs and other renewable resources found there. When native peoples see no value to their forests, and natural habitat, then the grass roots support for conservation in these countries is gone, followed by the habitats and animals. Once these places are destroyed they are gone for good, at least in our time frame.