New Amazonian frog species named after late Detroit Zoo curator

Marcy Sieggreen died in 2016

Marcy Sieggreen in the Amazon. (Detroit Zoo)

A newly discovered frog species, native to the Peruvian Amazonian region, has been named after the former Detroit Zoo Curator of Amphibians.

Allobates sieggreenae, endemic to the Peruvian Amazonian, is named after Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen, who died in July 2016.

Sieggreen led the DZS’s involvement in an assessment of amphibian populations in the region where the frog was discovered. 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.

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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.

“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.”

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.