The Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC) is a symbol of hope, science, and action. We are a capacity building program aimed at preventing the extinction of amphibians in Honduras while providing local scientists with tools to protect biodiversity. We believe that many species on the brink of extinction can be saved by the people who live alongside them, and we empower them to find success.
The primary threat that HARCC combats is an emerging infectious disease caused by amphibian chytrid fungus, which threatens frog species all over the world. Based on 10 years of fieldwork in the cloud forest of Cusuco National Park in Honduras, we designed a rescue program to save three species of endangered frogs. With our head-start and reintroduction program, we are excited to become the first project to successfully protect frogs in the wild from chytrid!
By collecting young frogs from the rainforest, raising them in our biosecure facility, and reintroducing them as healthy adults with stronger immune systems, we aim to keep these species alive in the wild as natural selection continues. If we do this long enough, these frogs should evolve resistance to chytrid and will begin to recover without needing our continued support. HARCC’s methods to protect species in Cuscuo will provide a framework for applied amphibian conservation to be replicated elsewhere in Honduras, and throughout Latin America.
HARCC is excited to join Conservation Optimism in the mission to engage, inspire, and mobilize conservation by creating a network of positivity and encouragement. Our team believes small groups of dedicated people can change the world and save species from extinction. Although HARCC is administered from the USA and located at Lancetilla Botanical Garden & Research Institute in Honduras, our outreach touches wildlife conservation programs around the world. We utilize social media and science communication videos to share our positive messages with diverse audiences. Our team digs deep to find optimism in every story and inspire others to take action. By joining the Conservation Optimism community, we hope to build a network of like-minded partners who seek to inspire, empower, and develop future conservation leaders around the world.