The late Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen poses for a photo in the Amazon.

The late Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen poses for a photo in the Amazon.

Photo provided by the Detroit Zoo


New frog species named after late amphibian curator at Detroit Zoo

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published October 9, 2021

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ROYAL OAK — While Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Amphibians Marcy Sieggreen died in July 2016 at the age of 43, her legacy lives on as a new species of Amazonian frog recently was named after her.

The frog species, called Allobates sieggreenae, is endemic to the Peruvian Amazonian region where Sieggreen led field work for the DZS’s assessment of amphibian populations in the wild.

The project included documenting species living in several sites in Peru, as well as testing for chytridiomycosis, a disease that is killing amphibian populations throughout South America and other parts of the world, according to a DZS press release.

Mary and Dwight Sieggreen, Marcy Sieggreen’s parents, said in a joint statement that they were “very moved” when they were informed of the naming of the new species of frog, according to the release.

“Of all the things that would have given Marcy pleasure, this would be her great joy. This is a priceless gift and there are no words to express how grateful we are that she is honored in this way,” they said. “We knew her love for both amphibians and Peru. We owe a special ‘thank you’ to all those who made this recognition possible — the Zoo family, amphibian scientists and the Peruvian people.”

Since 2008, Marcy oversaw all programs and operations at the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center, including animal care, breeding, conservation programs, guest experiences and research.

She spearheaded the DZS’ cooperative breeding efforts for many endangered amphibian species to help restore populations in wild habitats; served on the board of the international Amphibian Survival Alliance, as well as several Association of Zoos and Aquariums committees; and led the Amazonian component of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Amphibian Red List Assessment, according to the release.

Marcy earned bachelor’s degrees in earth science, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and geography from Eastern Michigan University; a master’s degree in biological science from Wayne State University; and was working toward a Ph.D. in environmental science through New England’s Antioch University.

DZS Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter said Marcy was an “incredible force in the DZS’ work to celebrate and save wildlife.”

“Her passion for amphibians and their conservation was unmatched,” Carter said in a prepared statement. “This is a beautiful tribute for an extraordinary person.”

According to her obituary listed on legacy.com, Marcy was a resident of Lake Orion. She “had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling to many exotic places throughout the world”; frequently traveled with her father; enjoyed photography, drawing and gardening; and was “an incredibly positive person who left an impression with everyone she met.”

The Detroit Zoo is located at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, west of Woodward Avenue.

For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org.

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