Virgin flies frogs to Montserrat

Virgin Atlantic Cargo has given its support to a conservation project led by the governments of Montserrat and Dominica and zoological experts in the UK, Jersey and Sweden to save the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the largest frogs in the world.


Virgin flies frogs to Montserrat


Virgin Atlantic Cargo has given its support to a conservation project led by the governments of Montserrat and Dominica and zoological experts in the UK, Jersey and Sweden to save the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the largest frogs in the world. Working closely with JCS Livestock, a division of James Cargo Services Ltd, the airline carried 57 frogs bred at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey and ZSL London Zoo as part of a conservation project on its scheduled flight to Antigua.

For the final leg of their journey, the frogs boarded a charter flight to Montserrat. All of the frogs arrived ‘home’ safely in Montserrat, where they were placed in a temporary holding facility to be rehydrated and rested for several days before being taken into the forest and released into the wild.

John Lloyd, director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Virgin is passionate about conservation. This is the latest project the airline has been able to support and we hope it will lead to a sustainable recovery of the mountain chicken frog in its natural habitat.”

On their native island home of Montserrat and Dominica, the frogs are on the brink of extinction as a result of habitat loss due to the volcano in Monserrat and the fungal disease Chytridiomycosis on both islands, which has resulted in a mortality rate of over 90 per cent. The Mountain Chicken Frog Recovery Program is a partnership between Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Zoological Society of London, North of England Zoological Society Chester Zoo, Parken Zoo in Sweden and the Governments of Montserrat and Dominica. The frogs are classified as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and this project is part of a global study to fight the chytrid fungus disease.