Archive: New Frog Species Named After Late National Amphibian Conservation Center Curator

September 16, 2021

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

A new species of Amazonian frog is named after Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen, who died in July 2016.

Allobates sieggreenae is endemic to the Peruvian Amazonian region where Sieggreen led the DZS’s involvement in an assessment of amphibian populations. The project included field surveys to document species living in several sites and testing for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is wiping out amphibian populations throughout South America and other parts of the world.

“We were very moved when we were told about the naming of this frog. Of all the things that would have given Marcy pleasure, this would be her great joy. This is a priceless gift and there are no words to express how grateful we are that she is honored in this way. We knew her love for both amphibians and Peru. How fortunate it was that she was able to combine the two and contribute to the field. We owe a special ‘thank you’ to all those who made this recognition possible – the Zoo family, amphibian scientists and the Peruvian people,” said parents Mary and Dwight Sieggreen.

Until her death at age 43, Sieggreen oversaw all programs and operations at the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center (NACC), including animal care, breeding, conservation programs, guest experiences and research.

Sieggreen also led the DZS’s cooperative breeding efforts for many endangered amphibian species, helping to restore populations in wild habitats. She served on the board of the international Amphibian Survival Alliance and on several Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) committees. She led the Amazonian component of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Amphibian Red List Assessment.

Marcy was working toward a Ph.D. in Environmental Science through New England’s Antioch University. She earned a master’s degree in Biological Science from Wayne State University and bachelor’s degrees in Earth Science, Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Geography from Eastern Michigan University.

“Marcy was an incredible force in the DZS’ work to celebrate and save wildlife. Her passion for amphibians and their conservation was unmatched,” said Scott Carter, DZS chief life sciences officer. “This is a beautiful tribute for an extraordinary person.”