habitat

Group Facilitators: Jeanne Tarrant and Timo Paasikunnas

ASG Secretariat Lead Contact: Ariadne Angulo (aangulo[at]amphibians.org)

Current Priority Actions

The following are immediate priorities identified by the Habitat Protection Working Group. These actions are expected to change as progress is made in addressing the underlying issues. Certain issues may not have been addressed in the current planning process and therefore some actions might be currently omitted from this list.

Major Constraints To Effective ConservationMid-term Priorities (1–5 years)Short-term Targets (6–12 months)
SCIENCE
Limited understanding of species ecology/biology/taxonomy:

- No clear evidence on what should be studied (although the Synopsis on Conservation Evidence for Amphibians (2014) should be a useful tool to help guide research and actions)

- Limited taxonomic expertise

- Few incentives and limited funding to undertake studies
i. Coordinate conservation research with habitat protection needs - Improve/develop relationships with relevant role-players

ii. Coordinate citizen science projects:

- Develop field guides with academic institutes/museums/experts including habitat, not only species

- Develop communication strategies for attracting more students and citizen scientists to participate in amphibian research
i. Prioritise research questions relevant to needs and resources and distribute research questions to universities, relevant research institutes and citizen science groups

ii. Identify candidate species or groups which need improved understanding of their taxonomy

iii. Support local/native graduate students studying not only species but doing environmental studies as well

iv. Develop practical guide for citizen science contributions
Lack of support/understanding from local governments and public to conduct relevant researchi. Incorporate amphibian habitat into conservation planning at municipal (or other relevant levels)

ii. Develop innovative ways of garnering funding
i. Improve communication at all levels

ii. Development of specific conservation plans
CONSERVATION
Limited comprehensive understanding of Critical Habitat for amphibians:

- Contact points unknown

- Inconsistent information on sites

- Available data not easily accessed

- Unclear definition of Critical Habitat
Develop “Amphibian Critical Habitat” key to identify priority sites:

- “Important Amphibian Areas” etc

- Align with Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites
i. Refine definition of “Critical Habitat”

ii. Develop list of standards for identification of important sites for Critical Habitat and key biodiversity areas:

- Develop relationships with key role-players

iii. Use different keys to identify different areas and develop means for aligning these:

- KBA, when ready (Key Biodiversity Area)

- IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area)

- IPA (Important Plant Area)
Need improved collaboration/learning exchange possibilities between different countries/groupsSee below under “policy”
Limited methods for the selection of conservation areasi. Develop computer algorithms to identify systems and protection needs of priority sites

ii. Coordinate with conservation organizations/government etc to incorporate amphibian data into overall conservation plans
Test models that are currently in use
Limited understanding by local communities of habitat protection and importance of amphibians in ecosystemDevelop easy and understandable report form for local communities to report changes in habitat (e.g. use frogs as indicators)Initiate pilot projects and develop and test reporting formats
Ecotourism related to amphibians or other ectothermsDevelop standards for safe ecotourism concerning amphibians (including biodiversity and habitat)Start some small-scale pilot projects:

- guided tours

- identification courses

- field guides/booklets/educational posters
Need for improved cooperation from zoos and ex situ organisations field conservationDevelop standards for zoos that encourage increased participation in field (in situ) activities conservationStrengthen relationships with local zoos, aquaria and other ex situ organizations
Lack of support from large NGOsBuild national/international network with conservation specialists from large NGOsBeing a part of ecological restoration projects and encourage addition of amphibians to overall conservation plans
POLICY
Disconnect between scientists, conservationists, naturalists, funders and governmentsBuild relationships at local level initially:

- Convene international workshop

- Improved capacity for learning exchange
Design national workshop and develop cooperation model further with different partners at national level:

- Convene politicians, naturalists, scientists, conservationists, photographers, hunters, poachers, industry, agriculture (timber, sugar, etc.)

- Panel discussion
No effective communication channeli. Develop communications strategy

ii. Design web-based model and possibly carry out surveys to estimate sites level

- Using questionnaire

- Need key first for estimate Critical Habitat
Design model for web-based interactive groups

- Facebook groups (Completed)
Amphibian data/habitat protection needs are not incorporated into national/local conservation policyAmphibian conservation plans to be incorporated into higher-level conservation planning

ACAP related chapters

Designing a Network of Conservation Sites for Amphibians—Key Biodiversity Areas (D. Silvano, A. Angulo, A.C.O.Q. Carnaval and R. Pethiyagoda).

Freshwater Resources and Associated Terrestrial Landscapes (M. Lannoo, C. Funk, M. Gadd, T. Halliday and J. Mitchell).

Read the whole ACAP here.