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Last Updated: Wednesday April 22 2009 06:27 GMT

Rare frogs airlifted to safety

One of the chicken frogs

Some of the rarest frogs in the world have been airlifted to safety to try to save them from extinction.

Twelve mountain chicken frogs, which are critically endangered as there are so few of them left, were rescued from the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

They're the latest in a group of about 50 frogs to have been saved from the island, where a deadly fungal disease is killing off loads of amphibians.

Some of the frogs are now settling into a new home at London Zoo.

The others are being looked after at zoos in Jersey and Sweden.

Dr Andrew Cunningham from the Zoological Society of London said the impact of the deadly chytridiomycosis disease on Montserrat and the neighbouring island of Dominica had been "catastrophic".

"The mountain chicken frog has been virtually wiped out on the island and the number of surviving frogs decreases every day."

The rescued frogs are now being encouraged to breed in their new homes in the hope of ensuring the survival of their species.