An international consortium of zoos, aquariums, conservation organizations and scientists, calling itself the “Amphibian Ark,” has dubbed 2008 the “Year of the Frog.” Amphibian Ark made the declaration in order to draw awareness to the mass extinction of amphibian species around the globe and to infuriate the Chinese, who already named the year after the rat “like 5000 years ago”. The AArk is a joint effort of 3 principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).
Poison arrow frogs come in two colors: delicious and extra delicious
At least 165 species of amphibians have gone extinct since 1980. One likely cause of the die-off is the dramatic increase in the instance of…
…Chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that is deadly to amphibians, though scientists are not certain why this is happening. Because of their permeable skin and their lives both in and out of water, amphibians are often more sensitive to subtle changes in the environment than other creatures, making them a great early warning sign for pending ecological disasters.
This fella was a lot cuter in Super Mario 2
Amphibian Ark is looking to raise between $50-60 million USD to fund a captive breeding program for some of the world’s most endangered frogs. It gives ten reasons to join with them on its website www.amphibianark.org:
1. Amphibian species are becoming extinct at a pace faster that anything we have experienced.
2. Nearly one third of all amphibian species are threatened.
3. Many people do not know that amphibians are declining and how threatened they are.
4. Amphibians are indicators of environmental health, important components of ecosystems.
5. Amphibians are contributors to human health they provide vital biomedicines, including compounds that are being refined for analgesics and antibiotics.
6. Amphibians are suitable for captive breeding programs and if every zoo in the world rescues one species, the goal can be achieved.
7. This is a unique challenge to prove that zoos and aquariums and botanical gardens are valid conservation partners. Zoos in particular play an important role in providing ex-situ breeding grounds for immediate conservation action
8. The amphibian extinction crisis provides an opportunity to engage your local community.
9. Success at this global collaboration lays the groundwork for other global collaborations for conservation.
10. 60 million dollars = a crap load of escorts and blow
(Ahhh, you are still reading!)
To find out more about Amphibian Ark or to donate to the cause, click here.