Poison Dart Frogs, The Documentary
Poison Dart Frogs (Dendobatidae) are probably the most toxic animals alive and so they show to us by displaying a bright rainbow of colors on their skin. The poison is called batrachotoxin and it causes paralysis or death when it enters the bloodstream, even in minuscule amounts. They are all small: the largest are no more than 6cm long, and some are just 1.5 cm.
The medical research community has been exploring possible medicinal uses for the arrow frog poison. They have already developed a synthetic version of one compound that shows promise as a painkiller.
Poison dart frogs evolved in rainforests millions of years ago; but now Central and South American rainforests are being cut back.
In March 2016, as a part of our trip to the rainforests of Panama, we started a project to show the world the fragile beauty of Poison Dart Frogs and their habitat. In Panama's jungles life springs up in every corner. Poison dart frogs await beneath fallen leaves, or up in the trees singing. Our aim is to bring you that experience on screen
Other documentaries about amphibians normally only dedicate about one to two minutes of their legth to cover information about Poison Dart Frogs. In this case, we want to make a documentary centered on them. We not only want the people know about the outstanding variety of these frogs, but truly inmerse them in their habitats. Their almost microscopic food is as important as the mosses, trees and epiphytic plants on which they thrive.
As the rainforest are disappearing, Dendrobatids are becoming endangered. Many Biological Stations around Central and South America breed them in captivity as if they were Noah's Arch. Ex situ conservation plays a key role in helping to keep their genes alive in case of an eventual extinction in nature. We want to show this and thank these people for their important role in Poison Dart Frog conservation.
No conflict can be solved without an approaching humanistic perspective to emphasize what is common among people rather than what separates us. Preserving tropical rainforests and their Poison Dart Frogs won't be successful unless we hear the voices of the natives. We must become reconciled with locals rather than just building Biological Stations where they used to hunt for food or search for water or where their Gods wend their way. We must understand, through compassion and tolerance, their concerns and find a link with ours so that together out goal is achieved. When it is about nature conservation, we all play a key role and we must be sympathetic.
How will the project actually help frogs in the wild?
- This is a NON-PROFIT project. That means 100% of sales benefits will go for a PDF conservation project (still to determine which one, we'll keep you updated via our Facebook page).
- The documenary crew will act as mediators between the scientists working in Biological Stations and locals, trying to find a way to build (and promote) a common project in order to guarantee conservation of Poison Dart Frogs rainforests.
- By interviewing conservationists and showing their work, we will show the world how important their work actually is. This will help them to increase their funding and donation rate (otherwise, their work wouldn't be possible). Plus, this will have an educational aim for the general population too.
Why we need your help
- Poison Dart Frog distribution in nature is wide. From northern Bolivia to Nicaragua. Covering these distances is highly expensive, but it is necessary to show the vast diversity of this frog family.
- Getting to unexplored parts of the rainforest to find them requires special equipment. Filming in these extremely warm and humid conditions is not always easy or safe.
- Human support motivates us to work on this project. It's the most important part.
Photography by the Poison Dart Frogs, The Documentary team
Music: Accralate - The Dark Contenent, by Kevin MacLeod
Risks and challenges
We are independent producers, so our only pullback is funding; which we hope to tackle thanks to our backers. You are an essential part of our budget!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (55 days)