Monteverde Golden Toad

Monteverde Reserve Lookout
Monteverde Reserve Lookout

The tiny tropical Monteverde Golden Toad has earned itself much fame worldwide for its rarity and beauty. Also known as the “little jewels on the forest floor”, this shiny and brightly orange toad was once abundant in the highly elevated tropical cloud forest area above the town of Monteverde. There is very little information available about the activities of the golden toad, although they were closely studied during the late 1980s. The Monteverde Golden Toads were found abundantly on the forest floor during the rainy April, which was their reproduction season. However they started to decline in numbers soon after 1987 and by 1988 they had stopped appearing during the seasonal rains.


The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was created in 1972 mainly for protecting the habitat of the Monteverde Golden Toad. Although this action seemed significant for securing the species, but apparently it was not enough. By 1989 not a single golden toad could be found anywhere in the world and the IUCN classified this amphibian species as extinct.Climatic changes have altered the ecology of the Monteverde cloud forest to an extent that it has restricted the habitat of many wild species of this forest. Scientists firmly believe that rising temperatures may have driven this species to extinction. The lifecycle of the Monteverde Golden Toads exposed them to both land and water therefore it increased the risk of pollutant concentration.

Disappearing Reassons

Being sensitive to the climatic and habitat changes, the Golden Toad soon started to disappear. Habitat destruction and alteration caused a faster decline in the race of these amphibians. Marshes and rivers were being drained, forests were being converted into development areas and recreational lakes were being deprived of native species. However habitat destruction does not entirely explain the disappearance of the Monteverde Golden Toad.

Warning for Other Species

Other reasons for the decline of the amphibian species include over exploitation, pollution, pesticides, acid rain, ultraviolet radiation and climatic change. Deforestation and global warming is generally held responsible for the puzzling disappearance of these toads but it’s rather a combination of many destructive forces that killed this species. The disappearance of the Monteverde Golden Toad symbolizes a warning for what might happen to the other species if severe deforestation continues. This beautiful toad continues to stand as a reminder, to the human race, of the fragility of the amphibian species and the need for its conservation.

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