2008 has been declared the Year of the Frog to save the amphibians, according to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
They had better hop to it! In an analysis of over 150 UK zoos, undertaken by Born Free in 2005, only 93 amphibian species were held and only 15 of these were officially classed as Threatened with Extinction in the Wild by the IUCN, World Conservation Union.
The record of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) is even less impressive. EAZA manages co-operative regional collection plans for only 2 amphibian species…… while WAZA have just 1 !!!!
Meanwhile, a staggering 1,856 of the 5,743 known amphibian species are Threatened with extinction according to the IUCN.
Quite clearly, zoos’ efforts so far are like a tadpole swimming the Atlantic compared with the size of the problem. Frankly, what is needed is concerted and effective action in the field, particularly in relation to habitat protection, to avert a major wave of amphibian extinction.
That’s where the $60m that WAZA President, Karen Sausman, claims is needed for the campaign (which includes setting up an “Amphibian Ark” captive breeding programme), should go!
What a disaster! There’s more than one toad heading for this particular ecological black hole!!