The final day of release, and introducing ‘Maverick’ the frog…

Mountain chicken in the wild
'Maverick' the frog reminds us that the released mountain chickens are ready to move! © Gerardo Garcia

‘Maverick’ is the first of the frogs to disperse out of the immediate area of the release. During our morning tracking we found him up the hill, not too far away, but far enough to remind us that these animals will disperse quite a distance to find their own territories. Because ‘Maverick’ is a 2009 male, it makes sense that he would be one of the first to disperse, rather than a younger (2010) female say. Mountain chickens are very territorial so it will be interesting to see where they disperse to and set up their own territories ready for the breeding season.

It was also the last day for releasing the frogs, so, as we had done for the past couple of days we headed to the facility in the afternoon to take the remaining frogs out of their temporary ponds and into the forest. It was such a fantastic experience to watch them in the dusky light jumping around the ghaut, or simply staying still and quiet beside us and the tents, before then hopping off for the night.

Boy meets mountain chicken for the first time
Project Research Officer Lloydie Martin shows his son a mountain chicken for the first time, before it is released later in the day. © Gerardo Garcia

The release ghaut was now populated with mountain chickens once again, at a density that was close to what had been recorded there previously. Walking back out of the forest, we could again hear some frogs happily calling their distinctive ‘brrrups’: a rare sound on Montserrat, and one which hadn’t been heard in the release ghaut for a long long time.

The team had fried chicken and beers to celebrate the last few days and make a toast to the frogs- what a week for both the mountain chickens and everybody who has worked so hard to make the release happen!

Isabel Jones


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here