Odorrana ishikawae is listed as a class IB endangered species in the IUCN Red List and is protected by law in both Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures, Japan. Here, in an effort to help effectively preserve the genetic diversity of this endangered species in the laboratory, we tested a farming technique involving the artificial breeding of frogs, and also promoted natural breeding in the laboratory. Field-caught male/female pairs of the Amami and Okinawa Island populations were artificially bred using an artificial insemination method in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 breeding seasons (March to April). Although fewer than 50% of the inseminated eggs achieved metamorphosis, approximately 500, 300, and 250 offspring from the three respective trials are currently being raised in the laboratory. During the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons, second-generation offspring were produced by the natural mating activities of the first offspring derived from the two artificial matings in 2004. The findings and the methods presented here appear to be applicable to the temporary protection of genetic diversity of local populations in which the number of individuals has decreased or the environmental conditions have worsened to levels that frogs are unable to survive by themselves.
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Vol. 28 • No. 11