Archive: Detroit Zoological Society Names Curator of Amphibians

September 2, 2021

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has appointed Blake Klocke as Curator of Amphibians. He is responsible for leading amphibian care and welfare, breeding, conservation and research programs as well as guest experiences and learning at the National Amphibian Conservation Center (NACC) at the Detroit Zoo.

Klocke’s experience caring for amphibians in captivity is paired with a strong background in conservation research. His field focus is on the ongoing chytrid fungus pandemic that is threatening amphibian biodiversity all over the world. The fungal disease has driven roughly 90 species to extinction and threatens hundreds more.

Klocke has led reintroduction efforts of critically endangered frogs in the rainforests of Panama and contributed to disease and trade policy to prevent the introduction of a similar fungus – affecting salamanders – into the U.S.

“The DZS supports a robust amphibian population at the NACC, field programs studying amphibians in the Amazon rainforest, and the breeding and release of critically endangered amphibians back in nature. Blake brings unique and valuable expertise in mitigating amphibian declines,” said DZS Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter. “He is a great addition to the DZS life sciences program.”

Klocke will complete a Ph.D. in environmental science and policy from George Mason University in 2021. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in field biology from the University of Wisconsin.

Called “Disneyland for toads” by The Wall Street Journal when it opened in 2000, the NACC is a world-renowned center for amphibian conservation, care, exhibition and research. The state-of-the-art facility features a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians.