Communication & Education

The Threats and Challenges

In recent years many researchers have shown that humanity is not living within our natural limits. In fact humans are consuming the Earth’s resources at increasingly unsustainable rates, as shown by the increasing levels of habitat destruction, pollution and emerging diseases, all of which are affecting amphibians worldwide.

Educational programs are important form of interventions for solving global environmental issues. Indeed, communicating to the younger generation about the future of amphibians it is the ultimate tool for engagement for developing the skills needed to prevent further declines of amphibians. As said by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, “Knowledge is power. Information is the premise of the progress, in every society, in every family.”

In order to prevent further amphibian declines it is necessary to promote and encourage Environmentally Responsible Behaviour (ERB) by increasing awareness, sensitivity, attitude, skills and participation. Engaging with communities, disseminating existing knowledge of the current situation, translating scientific findings into readable information, ensuring local communities can identify themselves as an integral part of that ecosystem, changing attitudes and raising awareness of the current situation that amphibians face are all critical.

Educational challenges require that we reexamine the approaches taken in research and the training of environmental professionals and educators alike. Equally, we need to reexamine the ways by which we convey environmental information to the general public. Developing a deeper understanding of environmental issues and having the skills to make informed and responsible decisions is not a simple process. Individuals need to be able to explore and engage with problem solving. They also need to be able to take action and make the necessary changes to their immediate surroundings. This is only possible if they feel responsible or have developed their ERB. Education must stay relevant to the interest of communities in order to be effective. As scientists and educators, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to utilize and expand a large resource base of information that feeds into amphibian conservation, utilizing appropriate technologies to meet diverse global needs.

The Solutions

The Alliance believes that communication and education are key to growing and sustaining support for amphibian conservation. It is also through these media that we will identify the threats to amphibians at both local and regional scales, as well as bringing about the learning needed to mitigate the threats. Working with our partners we are increasing collaboration across both professional and academic disciplines and diverse stakeholder groups in order to share the knowledge and experiences that are needed to inform conservation practice. We are also identifying the resources and training opportunities needed for amphibian conservation leaders.

At the same time our partners are increasing awareness, knowledge and access to resources and media that highlight the ecological and cultural value of amphibians and their habitats. By sharing uplifting stories and successes we are continuing to generate the enthusiasm and inspiration necessary to successfully sustain amphibian conservation efforts.

Putting the plan into action

The Amphibian Survival Alliance is an alliance of action and turn the ACAP priorities into real action for amphibians. Here are some of our latest projects:

Our Progress
  • Identify areas where scientists/ practitioners would benefit from interdisciplinary expertise to help inform conservation planning & programs.
  • Reach out to specialists/advisors to see if there is interdisciplinary interest or overlap in issues which directly or indirectly affect amphibians & humans (e.g. social science working groups, etc.).
  • Conduct a pilot survey for practitioners on current practices and needs related to public engagement & program evaluation.
  • Add an “Action Planning” section to the ASG/ASA websites and add links to existing resources & papers.
  • Raise awareness for free online courses & webinars which focus on relevant training content through social media and popular amphibian publications (e.g. FrogLog).
  • Share literature and best practices related to public engagement & program evaluation with scientists/practitioners through social media & popular publications.
  • Increase availability and accessibility of seed grants to help with general capacity building initiatives.
  • Develop a list of organizations working towards general capacity building for the amphibian community to promote within our network.
  • Expand and develop amphibians.org blog to share experiences, successes & challenges.
  • Increase the number of and diversity of the background of amphibians.org bloggers to stay relevant to target subject areas.
  • Create online Facebook communities for sharing and discussing ideas and research based on predetermined thematic areas.
  • Identify resources and training opportunities for strategically targeting & engaging audiences (e.g. community-based social marketing).
  • Identify audiences that we should engage more (e.g. product consumers, landowners, businesses, captive breeding community, resource users, etc.).
  • Convene discussions to identify target audiences for a pilot behavior change/action campaign which links to a driver of amphibian declines.
  • Identify target audiences for resource development/capacity building (landowners, natural resource managers, etc.).
  • Develop lists of specific actions & behavior change needed that links to priority conservation outcomes (see related “identify target audiences”).
  • Build more diverse partnerships with organizations who focus on other biodiversity or human wellness issues (e.g. sustainable certification programs, other taxonomic groups (birds, inverts), watershed conservation/water security, eco-agriculture, etc.) but which also impact amphibians & habitat.
  • Continue to identify & promote amphibian related citizen science initiatives to families & wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Share “best practices” for citizen science and other public participation programs.
  • Coordinate a global day(s) whereby amphibian enthusiasts commit to offer field/nature based experiences for the public. Share activities & reach.
  • Share examples of how biologists have involved innovative hands-on public participation in their research or conservation activities via peer-review, grey literature, social media, and conference symposia.
  • Develop/implement methods to measure attitudinal/behavourial change.
  • Publish an annual edition of Froglog Jr. to engage with families and youth.
  • Develop Science Zone on amphibians.org with amphibian education resources. Make sure this is widely communicated to scientists/practitioners to make resources available.
  • Highlight global amphibian programs & research that engage youth via social media & amphibian publications.
  • Develop graphics highlighting tangible ways urban youth can take action for amphibians. Distribute through partnership networks.
  • Develop/share experiential learning method best practices.
  • Develop “teach the teacher”/educator training courses.
  • Share best practices in regards to educator engagement.
Resources
The Alliance facilitates conservation and turns research into action through a diverse array of strategic communications, education and public awareness efforts to ensure amphibia conservation success. This means making biodiversity science relevant to the public and most importantly, enhancing the public’s awareness of the amphibian crisis and encouraging them to participate in conservation efforts. To achieve this, we use a diverse range of communication tools including:

FrogLog

FrogLog is an informative non-peer-reviewed resource for the amphibian conservation community that is readily accessible to both professionals in the industry and those who have a strong personal interest in a wide variety of conservation topics. Read now

FrogLog Jr

FrogLog Jr is a yearly magazine we have designed to engage and inspire a younger audience around amphibian conservation. Read now

Social Media

Social media platforms present additional channels through which the Alliance can engage with stakeholders while forming online communities focused on amphibian conservation. Follow us onFacebook and Twitter

Online Discussion Communities

Finding solutions to counter amphibian declines and extinctions is one of the greatest conservation challenges of the century, which comes with alarming implications for the health of ecosystems globally. As such, the Amphibian Survival Alliance has created these open forums on Facebook for people to share their ideas and recent publications. Join now

Amphibians.org

A dynamic website that acts as the hub of the our communication network and has been designed to help build an amphibian conservation community, raise funds for global conservation efforts, as well as mobilize and coordinate both people and organizations for successful conservation outcomes. Visit now

Blog

The latest amphibian conservation, research and education updates and stories from the field that are easily accessible and relevant to a wide audience, pulled together from a diversified background of bloggers. It is also a place where we share uplifting stories and successes regularly that generate enthusiasm and provide inspiration for successfully sustaining amphibian conservation efforts. Read now

Conferences and Forums

These serve as a primary networking opportunity for the Alliance to share, address and discuss not only amphibian conservation challenges, but also the latest research and developments in conservation science and implementation. Learn more

Newsletter

The latest developments, success stories and more in amphibian conservation, research and education from the Amphibian Survival Alliance delivered straight to your inbox a couple times per month. Subscribe now

AmphibiaWeb, the web based platform that provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation and taxonomy entered into a new partnership with the Amphibian Survival Alliance to help fill the gaps in the coordinated sharing of amphibian related data. The Science Zone also provides the science community with a one stop shop for all things related to amphibian data. Enter the Science Zone
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants, fungi and animals that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). Learn more

iNaturalist’s Global Amphibian BioBlitz

Amphibians are amazing! The diversity of their shapes, sizes, colors and behaviors are absolutely extraordinary! The Global Amphibian BioBlitz (GAB) not only showcases that diversity, but more importantly it helps researchers, conservationists and concerned global citizens share information and move forward actions that conserve these incredible amphibians around the world. Learn more

Bd-Maps

The overarching aim of Bd-Maps is to provide a community-focussed resource. All data is presented in a geographical context facilitating identification of areas of potential spread and temporal analysis allows previous spread to be modelled and used to identify areas of concern. Such analyseswill be directed towards policy makers, resource managers, the general public and the scientific community. All the data on the public site will be downloadable, allowing further analysis and synthesis by interested parties. Learn more

Global Ranavirus Consortium

The Global Ranavirus Consortium (GRC) was formed to facilitate communication and collaboration among scientists, veterinarians, and others interested in ranaviruses. Learn more

iNaturalist’s Global Amphibian BioBlitz

The Global Amphibian BioBlitz helps researchers, conservationists and concerned global citizens share information and move forward actions that conserve amphibians around the world. Learn more

The Record Pool

The Record Pool collects data on herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in the UK and to makes it available, locally and nationally, for conservation purposes. Learn more

FrogMap

FrogMAP is the continuation of the Southern African Frog Atlas Project. It aims to build on the distribution data collected during seven years of fieldwork (1996-2003), plus earlier data compiled from museum records, private collections, the literature and conservation agencies.Learn more

Amphibian Ark

Amphibian’s Ark mission is to ensure the survival and diversity of amphibian species focusing on those that cannot currently be safe-guarded in nature. This includes developing and running amphibian husbandry and conservation training courses in regions and countries where additional expertise is required, as well as the development of husbandry manuals and guidelines, among many other activities. Learn more

Conservation Leadership Programme

CLP is a partnership of three of the world’s leading biodiversity conservation organisations. Drawing upon the expertise of conservation professionals from across the globe, they direct project funding and training to early career leaders from developing countries who are tackling priority conservation challenges. Learn more

Durrel Wildlife Conservation Trust

The Durrel Conservation Academy is a world leader in conservation capacity development, operating at the interface between in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Learn more

EDGE Fellows Programme

The EDGE Fellows programme aims to create a new global network of in-country conservationists trained in cutting-edge wildlife management techniques and well-equipped to design and implement a project for a local EDGE species. Learn more

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) is an inclusive partnership dedicated to the conservation of the herpetofauna–reptiles and amphibians–and their habitats. Learn more

The Amphibian Survival Alliance accepts and reviews Seed Grants all year, however grants are announced only four times a year in FrogLog.  Seed grants are normally provided in amounts ranging from USD $500-$1,000 and are designed to help kick start projects or allow teams to try new innovative approaches to address conservation, research and education challenges.Learn more
Amphibian Heroes is a weekly initiative that highlights the important work of Alliance partners. Learn more

Amphibian Champions is a monthly initiative that highlights individual accomplishments in the field of amphibian conservation. Learn more

  • Jacobson, S. K., McDuff, M. D., & Monroe, M. C. (2015). Conservation education and outreach techniques: Oxford University Press.

Communications & Education
Working Group

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