Ex Situ Amphibian Nutrition: Recent Findings and Future Directions
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2015
Elizabeth A. Koutsos1, MS, PhD; Eduardo Valdes2, MS, PhD
1Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition, Shoreview, MN, USA; 2Department of Animal Health, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA


In 2013 a workshop was hosted to evaluate the current understanding of amphibian medicine and nutrition, in order to further our progress in establishment of successful breeding programs to promote amphibian conservation.1 The Nutrition Working Group identified a number of challenges and opportunities for advancement in this field.2 First, an overarching theme of all Working Groups was the need for standardization of protocols and processes to allow for objective evaluation of nutritional and health status of amphibians. Second, an overview of current knowledge in amphibian nutrition was conducted. Finally, specific areas of concern in nutrition were highlighted for vitamin A status (determination of status, preventive and therapeutic options), multifactorial issues contributing to metabolic bone disease, the role of water quality in amphibian nutrition, establishment of appropriate research models to further define nutrient requirements of amphibians, and the need for evaluation of a wider range of wild-type diet items and enhancement of captive diet items.

Literature Cited

1.  Olea-Popelka F, Ferrie GM, Morris C, Pessier AP, Schad K, Stamper MA, Gagliardo R, Koutsos E, Valdes EV. Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition. Zoo Biol. 2014;33:586–591.

2.  Ferrie GM, Alford VC, Atkinson J, Baitchman E, Barber D, Blaner WS, Crawshaw G, Daneault A, Dierenfeld E, Finke M, Fleming G, Gagliardo R, Hoffman EA, Karasov W, Klasing K, Koutsos E, Lankton J, Lavin SR, Lentini A, Livingston S, Lock B, Mason T, McComb A, Morris C, Pessier AP, Olea-Popelka F, Probst T, Rodriguez C, Schad K, Semmen K, Sincage J, Stamper MA, Steinmetz J, Sullivan K, Terrell S, Wertan N, Wheaton CJ, Wilson B, Valdes EV. Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry. Zoo Biol. 2014;3:485–501.


Speaker Information
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Elizabeth A. Koutsos, MS, PhD
Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition
Shoreview, MN, USA