Mission: To generate public awareness and understanding of the amphibian extinction crisis; to raise funds for implementing the ex situ aspects of ACAP (Amphibian Conservation Action Plan); to encourage further EAZA member participation in amphibian ex situ conservation; to raise awareness and funds to support and supplement the activities of the Amphibian Ark; and to further position the IUCN and the zoo community as leaders in global conservation.
Amount donated: £8,200
Background: There are three groups of amphibians: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts and Caecilians. Sadly with the increasing rate of habitat destruction many amphibian species are becoming extinct. Today amphibians are the most threatened class of vertebrates. There are 6,000 species identified and, of these, one third to a half are threatened with extinction and half or more are expected to disappear within decades. In fact, more than 120 species have already disappeared. In addition to the major threat of habitat loss and degradation, amphibians are also at risk from a fungal disease caused by the Chytrid fungus. In areas where the Chytrid fungus occurs, it is expected to cause the disappearance of 50% of the species and 80% of individuals within one year.
Global conservation organisations have recognised that amphibians are facing a global extinction crisis. In 2006, the Amphibian Ark (AArk) was launched to develop, promote and guide captive management of amphibian populations; working to rescue species at risk in the wild and maintain them in captivity until it is safe to release them back into the wild. It is hoped that hundreds or thousands of amphibian species can be saved. Amphibians have thrived on this planet for 360 million years and it is our duty to ensure that they continue to do so!
Achievements: At the closing session of the campaign, a fantastic preliminary fundraising result of €410,803 was presented. These funds went towards the Amphibian Ark (AArk), which is a joint effort of three 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).
The AArk was formed to address the ex situ components of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP). It aims to coordinate ex situ programs implemented by partners around the world, with the first emphasis on programs within the range countries of the species, and with a constant attention to the obligation of coupling ex situ conservation measures with necessary efforts to protect or restore species in their natural habitats.