New species of frog named after Northville scientist

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As she led twice-a-year nocturnal expeditions through the Amazon jungle in search of rare species of frogs, Northville native Marcy Sieggreen was focused and fearless, her father Dwight Sieggreen recalls.

“Marcy would always be at the front of the group at the front, even if the jungle was dark and you could hear the sounds of nocturnal jungle animals and insects,” said Dwight Sieggreen, a life science educator at the retired from Northville Public Schools who often accompanied her daughter on Amazonian adventures. “She loved what she was doing so much, she had no hesitation in heading into a dark jungle.”

Marcy Sieggreen’s dedication to her profession was recognized on September 6 when a species of frogs – Allobates sieggreenae – was named in her honor.

“From everything we’ve learned, it’s a very, very rare honor,” said Dwight Sieggreen. “When we got the call that this was happening her mother (Mary) and I shed a few tears. We’re incredibly proud to say the least.”

Marcy Sieggreen was Amphibian Curator for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) before she died aged 43 in 2016.

Until the time of her death, Siegreen was an amphibian curator at the Detroit Zoo. The frog species that now bears his name is endemic to the Peruvian Amazon region where Sieggreen led the Detroit Zoological Society’s participation in an assessment of amphibian populations.

Allobates sieggreenae is endemic to the Peruvian Amazon region where Sieggreen led DZS involvement in an assessment of amphibian populations. The project included field surveys to document species living in multiple sites and testing for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is wiping out amphibian populations across South America and other parts of the world.

“Of all the things that would have made Marcy happy, that would be his great joy,” said Dwight Sieggreen. “It’s an invaluable gift and there are no words to express how grateful we are that she is honored in this way. We knew her love for amphibians and Peru.

“How lucky she was able to combine the two and contribute to the field. We owe a special thank you to everyone who made this recognition possible: the Detroit Zoo family, amphibian scientists and the people of Peru.

Sieggreen oversaw all programs and operations of the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center (NACC), including animal care, husbandry, conservation programs, guest experiences, and research.

Images of the new species of frog named in honor of Northville resident Marcy Sieggreen.

Sieggreen has also led DZS cooperative breeding efforts for many endangered amphibian species, helping to restore populations in wild habitats. She has served on the board of directors of the International Amphibian Survival Alliance and on several committees of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Sieggreen also led the Amazon component of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Amphibians assessment.

“Marcy has been an incredible force in the work of DZS to celebrate and save wildlife. His passion for amphibians and their conservation was unmatched, ”said Scott Carter, Director of Life Sciences at DZS. “It is a beautiful tribute for an extraordinary person.”

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Sieggreen was working on a doctorate. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Antioch in New England. She holds a master’s degree in biological sciences from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in earth, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and geography from Eastern Michigan University.

Sieggreen attended Moraine Elementary School in Northville, Meads Mill Middle School and Northville High School.

Contact reporter Ed Wright at [email protected] or 517-375-1113.


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