Following more than three years of field work by Project Golden Frog/Proyecto Rana Dorada (PGF/PRD) personnel and volunteers, 20 pairs of adults and approximately 60 juvenile golden frogs were collected in 2000-2003, and imported the United States with all necessary CITES, Panama's Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM), US Fish and Wildlife Service permits. As a result of breeding programs at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, the Detroit Zoo, and several other PGF/PRD partners, there are now more than 1,600 captive bred Panamanian golden frogs from two distinct localities managed with under a Species Survival Plan® at over 50 AZA institutions in the U.S. and Canada, with numbers growing. Through breeding recommendations, population managers have been able to maintain a genetic diversity of over 90% of the captive golden frog population within AZA facilities.
The second edition of the PGF Husbandry Manual was produced in 2006, and has been used as a model for managing and breeding other Atelopus species worldwide.
Golden frog husbandry continues to be refined, building on earlier successes with this species. Environmental and management solutions are being found to facilitate females to successfully lay their eggs, to reduce post-laying mortality, to rearing large numbers of tadpoles, and to rearing targeted numbers of froglets successfully to adulthood. In addition, for females that have problems laying eggs in a timely fashion, appropriate hormonal protocols have been developed and refined. Maintaining females separate from males, except during breeding, is seen as key to achieving consistent success and a gravidity scale has been developed at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore to help determine when females should be placed with males. Transfer of a successful golden frog recipe to all institutions holding this species will a priority in the near future.