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Mountain Chicken

Critically Endangered



The estimated population is around 8,000 individuals, which has seen a 81% population decrease over the last 10 years 


The species grows up to 22 centimetres long


The species can weigh up to 900 grams


Dominica and Montserrat


Once being widespread throughout the eastern Caribbean islands, the Mountain Chicken is now only found on the islands of Dominica – on the western side of the island, and Montserrat – within the Centre Hills in the north. 


The Mountain Chicken is one of the largest frogs in the world. The species has a highly variable colour range, from solid chestnut brown, to be being barred or even spotted. The colouring of the species becomes more orange-yellow on the sides with the underbelly becoming a pale yellow. The body overall is rather muscular. The eyes of the Mountain chicken are large with dark pupils and a golden iris. The male of the species is smaller than the female and is also different as it has small black spurs on it’s thumbs. 

Quick Facts

Find Out More About the Mountain Chicken
  • Key behaviour of Mountain Chicken includes: 
    • The species is terrestrial and nocternal 
    • Mountain Chicken’s are sit and wait predators waiting on food to come within reach and will eat almost anything it can swallow 
    • The species, unlike other frogs, breeds in a burrow underground which are around 50 centimetres deep 
    • The breeding season goes from around April until early September 
    • The species mates by males competing for breeding sites and then calling to females. Once a breeding pair is made, the male and the female Mountain Chicken stimulate the female to release a fluid which the males makes into foam with its hind legs and the nest is built which the female will lay its eggs in while the male protects it from intruders 
    • The young take around 45 days to develop 
    • Around 26 to 43 froglets emerge from a nesting 
    • The species reaches maturity after 3 years 
    • The species has an average life span of 12 years 

The Mountain Chicken is mostly carnivorous and eats the following through its sit and wait predation: 

  • Crickets 
  • Millipedes 
  • Insects 
  • Crustaceans 
  • Small snakes and smaller frogs 
  • Small mammals such as bats 

The Mountain Chicken is found in a range of moist habitats which include: 

  • Dense scondary forest and scrub 
  • Hillside plantations 
  • Palm groves in river valleys 
  • Ravines 
  • Flooded Forests 

The species is found near steams and springs and rarely in grasslands. In Dominica the species is found at low altitudes, however on Montserrat it can be found at altitudes around 400 to 430 metres. 

The Mountain Chicken faces multiple threats to its existence: 

  • Hunting – the species was hunted extensively for its meaty legs which were the countries national dish until recently. The species is extremely easy to hunt 
  • Disease – a deadly chytridiosmycosis fungus has become established on the island of Dominica since 2002 as is the most dangerous threat to the species continued existance 
  • Natural disasters – in Monserrat volcanic explosions are rapidly removing habitat and many of the species 
  • Habitat loss – agriculture, tourism and developments of settlements are impacting the species remaining habitat along with natural disasters 

Conservation Efforts

Some of the conservation efforts which we proudly support are 


The ZSL provides extensive research and responses to the deadly chytridiosmycosis fungus to aid the species and many others against theis deadly disease. This wonderful organisation also provides the following: 

  • Establishing a breeding program on Dominica 
  • Further analyses and research 
  • Training people to work with the species 
  • Trialing of other treatments 
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