Kathleen Higgins Internship with Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project
I spent eight months interning and researching at the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (PARCP) in Gamboa, Panama. I learned about ex situ conservation of amphibians through hands on experiences in animal care, fieldwork, and community outreach events. My research aims to resolve the cause of Spindly Leg Syndrome (SLS), a developmental disease that has long existed in zoos and aquariums and threatens the success of amphibian assurance populations. For my research, I worked with Andinobates geminisae, a tiny, critically endangered species of Poison frog that is particularly badly affected by SLS in captivity. In addition to my work on SLS, I was able to collect novel natural history data on this recently discovered species. I will be returning to Panama this spring to continue my research.