There are certainly more frogs living on Jost Van Dyke, a small 3.5-square-mile island in the British Virgin Islands, and the Amphibian Survival Alliance and partners intend to ensure the frogs have a healthy home. The island is not only home to a small population of no more than 300 people, it is also key habitat for five frog species, included two species the IUCN Red List classifies as endangered, the Virgin Island Coqui (Eleutherodactylus schwartzi) and the Yellow-Mottled Coqui (Eleutherodactylus lentus). Scientists know very little about the Coqui Frog, which is found only in the British Virgin Islands and likely no longer found anywhere on the neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Jost Van Dkyes Preservation Society, a locally based not-for-profit, is set to carry out frog surveys in key biodiversity areas on Jost Van Dyke with the support of Dr. Renata Platenberg, a herpetologist and natural resources professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Platenberg will provide in-field training to help JVDPS staff develop the skills to carry out future frog surveys in the BVI independently. Land conservation via easements and acquisition has been a long-standing and key part of the mission of JVDPS, which engages in discussions with several landholders and seeks funding sources. These frog surveys will help prioritize lands vital to amphibian conservation.
Virgin Island Coqui, Yellow-mottled Coqui, Red-eyed Coqui, Whistling Coqui, Caribbean White-lipped frog
Jost Van Dkyes Preservation Society, University of the Virgin Islands, British Virgin Island’s Conservation & Fisheries Department