On Friday the 13th September 2013 Dominica hosted the first Annual Mountain Chicken Day.
This event was designed to help create awareness about the plight of the Mountain Chicken Frog (Leptodactylus Fallax) also known in Dominica as the Crapaud. The event was free so that all the public could attend and there were numerous planned activities throughout the day.
The day was well supported with over 351 people of all ages supporting the event. A large number of local school children attended and the schools represented gave very positive feedback, requesting further events and expressing a wish to develop links with the project.
In the morning a special VIP presentation and facility tour was held for all the potential fund holders, existing supporters and the media; offering them an opportunity to learn more about the work of the project and how their investment and support can help.
A further aim of the event was to boost awareness of the project and its key messages by using the social media aspect of the outreach project – the Dominican Mountain Chicken Facebook page. This objective was extremely successful and we increased our viewing from our weekly average of 3000 people to an incredible 11,000 plus views during that week.
This event also attracted attention on a global scale with major groups such as the Amphibian Specialist Group, Amphibian Survival Alliance and Amphibian Ark all promoting the event and sharing information. Many groups and professional organisations helped to raise awareness and activities were held at different organisations like ZSL and Reaseheath College.
This event really helped to increase the awareness of the project and was of great interest to potential investors and supporters. It was a successful day of activities, education and fun for the project staff, volunteers, sponsors and visitors.
By Machel Sulton (Dominican Forestry staff) & Luke Harding (Dominican volunteer)
The mountain chicken is a Critically Endangered frog found only on Montserrat and Dominica and is the largest native amphibian in the Carribean. Populations on both islands have been devastated by the amphibian chytrid fungus, first on Dominica from 2002 and subsequently from 2009 on Montserrat. The wild population across both islands is currently estimated to be about 100 individuals.