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Amphibian Ark Keeping threatened amphibian species afloat

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  • Amphibian ArkKeeping threatened amphibian species afloat

  • Are they really in trouble?5,743 species of amphibians 43% in decline (2469 spp.)32% threatened (1856 spp.)120+ extinct since 198023% data deficient (1294 spp)probably endangeredWorse than birds (12%) or mammals (23%)

  • Beginnings of a mass extinctionNearly one-third (32%) of the worlds amphibian species - representing 1,856 species - are threatened with extinction.Up to 122 species may have gone extinct since 1980.At least 43% of all species are declining in population size.

  • Habitat Loss and DegradationClimate ChangeChemical ContaminationInfectious DiseaseInvasive SpeciesOver-HarvestingComplex Causes

  • 1987-8820042002-031996-971993-94~28 km/yr

  • The Mandates2005 IUCN ACAP White Papers:Survival assurance colonies are mandatory for amphibian species that will not persist in the wild long enough to recover naturally once environments are restored; these species need to be saved now through ex-situ measures so that more complete restoration of ecosystems is possible in the future2005 IUCN ACAP Declaration:The ACAP recommends prioritized ... captive survival assurance programs ... to buy time for species that would otherwise become extinct...2006 IUCN ACAP Report:The only hope for populations and species at immediate risk of extinction is immediate rescue for the establishment and management of captive survival-assurance colonies

  • Making the Mandate TangibleTo save from immediate extinction every species that needs ex situ conservation, ...

    each zoo must commit to secure the future for one amphibian species.

    ~500 zoos working individually and together = ~500 species saved

  • Do we have the resources?If each visitor contributes just 2 cents for amphibian conservation, then we will have all the funds that we need.

    If each zoo would devote to amphibians the resources that are devoted to the care of one high-profile, big mammal species in your collection, then we will have all the resources that we need.

  • We do have (or can have) the needed financial resources!Direct allocation from existing conservation or collection budgetsSpecial fund-raising, individually and collectively

  • We do have (or can have) the needed financial resources!Direct allocation from existing conservation or collection budgetsSpecial fund-raising, individually and collectivelyBut the rest of the task will be challenging!

  • Challenges: We need more FacilitiesExpertiseKnowledgeTechniques and standardsCommunication and coordinationPartnershipsPublic awareness, support, and action

  • Challenges: We need more FacilitiesExpertiseKnowledgeTechniques and standardsCommunication and coordinationPartnershipsPublic awareness, support, and actionHelp is on the way!

  • WAZA and CBSG are together taking responsibility for helping to coordinate the global amphibian ex situ conservation response

  • WAZA and CBSG are together taking responsibility for helping to coordinate the global amphibian ex situ conservation responseWorking in close partnership with the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group

  • What is the Amphibian Ark?AArk is a joint effort of WAZA, CBSG, and ASG formed to address the ex situ components of the ACAP.The mission is to ensure long-term survival in nature utilizing short-term ex situ management of amphibian taxa for which adequate protection in the wild is not currently possible.AArk will coordinate ex situ programs implemented by global partners (i.e., you!).Members of the AArk will be members of WAZA, regional, or national zoo associations, AArk-approved private partners and AArk-approved museums, universities and wildlife agencies.

  • Steering CommitteeCo-chairs: WAZA, CBSG, ASGTaxon Management GroupsTaxon Rescue PlansWAZA membersand affiliatesprivate sector partnersOther approved ex situ facilities (e.g. universities, wildlife agencies)Regional Zoo & Aquarium Association members Training OfficerCommunications OfficerTaxon OfficerAdvisors: Reintro, Vet, Gene Banking, Legal, Ethical, etc.Other Officers: Regional, InstitutionalWAZACBSGASGIUCN SSCResearchConservationAssessmentIn situAmphibian Program OfficerOther members: Regional Zoo Assocs, Private, Academia, GovernmentAmphibian Ark

  • ASG Conservation OfficerKevin Zippel CBSG/ WAZA Amphibian Program OfficerDon Church, CI Conservation OfficerGLOBAL COORDINATIONJoe Mendelson, ASG ExOfficerRobin Moore

  • Support for local implementationTaxon Management (Rescue) OfficerTraining OfficerCommunications Officerand Regional Association coordinatorsother positions as needed to support youand lots of dedicated volunteer experts and friends

  • What Can My Zoo Do?Commit to saving at least one speciesbuild rescue center onsite, in area in need, preferably bothget your staff trained and involvedSupport and expand existing efforts rescue programs, field surveys, regional programs, and local conservation projectsParticipate in the global public awareness and capital campaigns

  • Building expertiseAZA Amphibian Biology & Management3 years, >60 students6 Latin American students (Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador)ABM Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Tanzania, DWCT Amphibian Biodiversity Conservation

  • Building (up) facilities at homeAntwerp, Atlanta, Auckland, Bristol, Cologne, Detroit, Houston, London, Melbourne, Omaha, Perth, San Antonio, Toledo

    whos next?

  • Building facilities offsiteHouston Zoo - El Nispero Zoo (Panama)Zoo Zurich - Cali Zoo (Colombia)St. Louis Zoo - Catolica University (Ecuador)Omaha Zoo - Johannesburg Zoo London/Chester/Jersey Zoos - DominicaChester - standardized mobile biosecure facilities

    whos next?

  • The P. Centerconsortium of zoos18 institutions pledged$82/150K for operation100% construction (~$650K)50% operation (~$150k/yr)ex situ management, training, research

  • Financial Costfor the average zoo (assumes 500 zoos)save 1 species$55,000 in year 1Secure the AArk for a 10-year voyagebuild your programs at home and abroad$35,000/year thereafterprevent the extinction of 500 species

  • Financial Costfor the average zoo (assumes 500 zoos)save 1 species$55,000 in year 1Secure the AArk for a 10-year voyagebuild your programs at home and abroad$35,000/year thereafterprevent the extinction of 500 speciesCheapest conservation you can buy!

  • CampaignsParticipate in a global public awareness campaign 2008: Year of the Frogwebsites, graphics, education materials, media releasesDo your visitors know we are experiencing the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity?Participate in the global capital campaign to support your own programsto support the global coordination through AArk

  • Multi-level approachBig corporate or foundation sponsorsof global coordination and capacity buildingof your local effortsAssociation-level campaigns and commitments and leadershipInstitution-level fund-raising, big and smallSupport from your institutions to the globally coordinated effortsfor your programs

  • You are responding!Houston spearheading El Valle projectAtlanta partnering with ABG to rescue speciesmany expanding capacity to save Panamanian speciesOmaha building propagation facilities and assisting JohannesburgSt Louis assisting Catolica Univ in QuitoToledo and WCS breeding the last Kihansi spray toads

  • You are responding!SeaWorld/AB sponsoring training and national strategy workshops Brookfield sponsoring the Amphibian POToledo Wishing wells in shopping mallColumbus, Binder Park, Kansas City, Living Desert, Denver, San Francisco, Sedgwick, Rosamond Gifford, Cameron Park, Disney, Toronto, New Mexico BioPark, WCS, New England, Birmingham, and many others who have provided the critical funding to coordinate and facilitate the intiative

  • Dont miss the boat!Propagation facilities (home and elsewhere)Training (own staff and others)CommunicatingSponsoringSupporting core functions that support youResearch, field surveysPartnering

    Join the crowd!

  • Our role Zoos and aquariums are unique among conservation organizations because of their ability to directly reach and inspire the visiting public to actively care about wildlife both in their backyard and across the globe.

    North Americas largest conservation movement!

  • Imagine AZA members, working collectively willSave all of North Americas frogs and salamanders that are threatened with extinctionBuild the capacity and support the programs to help save the equally incredible diversity of our neighbor countries in Latin AmericaBe the most active and essential keystone partner in a global conservation movementStop the extinction of 100s of species!

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