2008: Year of the Frog
15 January 2008
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) have announced that up to half of amphibian species could be wiped out in coming years through habitat loss and climate change - the biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs disappeared.
IUCN, the World Conservation Union, which is taking part in the Amphibian Ark programme, said 1,856 of the 5,743 known amphibian species were threatened with extinction.
"The world botanic gardens community can play a crucial role in helping to save the planet's critically endangered amphibian species," said WAZA president Karen Sausman at a meeting in Budapest.
As part of the campaign, which needs to raise up to $60 million in funding, WAZA also set up a petition calling on all governments to take action to beat the amphibian crisis and agreed to an Amphibian Ark captive breeding programme.
"It's both our obligation and our privilege to help these glorious animals. We invite all people around the world to help amphibians survive by signing our global petition and contributing to fund this initiative," Sausman added.
The programme will bring priority amphibian species into dedicated facilities at zoos and aquariums as well as botanic gardens and other institutions around the world for safekeeping and breeding.
The creatures will be released back into the wild when the original threats have been controlled.
WAZA, which hopes its petition will be signed by the millions of people who visit zoos and aquariums each year, appointed world renowned British naturalist David Attenborough as patron of the Year of the Frog.
"Without an immediate and sustained conservation effort to support captive management, hundreds of species of these wonderful creatures could become extinct in our own lifetime," he said.
"But implementation calls for financial and political support from all parts of the world."
Amphibians in Crisis
Amphibian Ark are appealing for botanic gardens to join in one of the greatest species conservation programs in the history of humanity. Find out more about this crisis and how you can help on this site.
Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs, Selection, Care, Nutrition...
This book provides plenty of information on caging, food, habitat, background information and health problems/treatments. It also provides an extensive range of descriptions of different species, along with colour photos and drawings. To help you learn about care of amphibians.
Tree Frogs Care Guide
Books in this series give hobbyists basic information on reptiles' anatomy, life cycles, and traits, as well as specific instructions on care and breeding.