As its name implies, the Goliath frog is the largest living species of frog in the world, weighing up to 3kg and stretching as long as 80cm. The Goliath frog has a small range, found only in sandy-bottomed rainforest rivers and streams in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon. C. goliath has reached endangered conservation status as it is believed that its population has decreased more than 50 percent over the past 15 years.
Goliath frogs are severely threatened by the bushmeat trade and more sophisticated traps have recently made them easier to capture. Added to this pressure are deforestation and the construction of dams, encroaching on the frogs’ already limited habitat. Due to their size, Goliath frogs are a popular species imported into the United States for zoos, the pet trade and even to be used in frog jumping competitions. The species does not breed in captivity.
At present, international trade of the frogs remains unrestricted. The government of Equatorial Guinea was the first to set a limit on the numbers of C. goliath that can be exported in one year – 300 individuals – but it remains to be seen whether other countries will follow suit. Protecting the frog’s habitat is just as crucial as regulating international trade and there are now three wildlife sanctuaries established in Cameroon and one national park in Equatorial Guinea in an attempt to conserve what remains of the frogs’ habitat.