Finding solutions to counter amphibian declines and extinctions is one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time; failure to address these issues would result in alarming implications for the persistence of many species and the health of ecosystems worldwide.

With a membership of over 500 of the world’s leading amphibian experts, the Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) is uniquely positioned to identify the current challenges to amphibian conservation, and to recommend solutions.

In mid-2013 the ASG, in partnership with the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), established a number of thematic working groups comprising ASG members with interest and expertise on specific topics relevant to global amphibian conservation. The objective of the working groups is to review efforts since the publication of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007, and develop a clear strategy to address amphibian conservation challenges worldwide, as well as support its implementation.

The immediate aim for each working group has been to develop priorities for conservation action, building on the relevant section of the ACAP. The first revision to the ACAP has now been completed, with each group having identified short- and medium-term actions designed to address specific challenges in their field (short-term actions should be achievable in 6-12 months, and medium-term actions achievable in 1-5 years).

Implementation of the priority actions has now begun. The ASA is working on these priorities through its partners, and the ASG thematic working groups (WGs) are further developing those identified priorities where ASG WGs are best placed to spearhead the process.

It is important to note that the new concept for the ACAP is that it becomes a living document, with ongoing updates and revisions undertaken as conservation action is implemented across the different thematic areas. Thus, we envision this to be the first of several versions of ACAP.

The working groups are as follows, with corresponding ACAP chapters included in brackets; each working group has a web page where the outputs of their group are presented (follow links below):

1.   Habitat Protection (Designing a Network of Conservation Sites for Amphibians—Key Biodiversity Areas; Freshwater Resources and Associated Terrestrial Landscapes)

2.   Climate Change (Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss, and Amphibian Declines)

3.   Infectious Diseases (Infectious Diseases)

4.   Trade & Policy (Over-harvesting of Amphibians)

5.   Ecotoxicology (Evaluating the Role of Environmental Contamination in Amphibian Population Declines)

6.   Captive Breeding (Captive Programs)

7.   Reintroductions (Reintroductions)

8.   Taxonomy and Systematics (Systematics and Conservation)

9.   Genome Resources (Bioresource Banking Efforts in Support of Amphibian)

10.   Species Conservation Strategies

11.   Surveys and Monitoring

12.   Communications and Education

Note: While there is an ACAP chapter dedicated to amphibian extinction risk assessments, please note that the Amphibian Red List Authority (Amphibian RLA) is responsible for all Red List matters, so a working group was not established for this subject.