As a member of ASA, Rainforest Trust is dedicated to helping safeguard amphibians around the world. James Lewis, former director of operations for the ASA, joined the Rainforest Trust conservation team in June 2016 to help increase their engagement in amphibian and reptile conservation efforts. During the next four years, Rainforest Trusts aims to significantly increase their contribution to amphibian conservation. At the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in September 2016, they launched their SAVES (Safeguarding Areas Vital to Endangered Species) Challenge. Through their SAVES Challenge, Rainforest Trust has committed to direct a total of $100 million to establish new protected areas to save the world’s most threatened species, and amphibians and reptiles are high on our priority list.
During the past six months, they have already supported a number of herpetological projects in Central and South America (Panama, Colombia and Ecuador), Africa (Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar) and Asia (India, Vietnam and the Philippines), helping to secure millions of acres of critical habitat for amphibians and reptiles. They are currently working to increase the number of global projects that offer refuge for at-risk herpetofauna, including sites where endemic species new to science are currently being discovered.
But this is just the beginning, as they recognize the connectivity between creating protected areas and ensuring that species’ information is accurate and up-to-date. Rainforest Trust is committed to helping the IUCN Red List and the newly launched Key Biodiversity Areas Initiative and is an active member of the IUCN. IUCN knowledge tools are vital assets for the conservation community, and they believe strongly in supporting their upkeep and use.
As the SAVES Challenge grows, we call on all ASA members to connect with us. Share your amphibian conservation goals and successes with us, and let’s explore opportunities to partner together– and most importantly, how we can further our joint commitments to stem the loss of amphibians and ensure that these incredible species remain secure in nature.
Please review details on the SAVES Challenge (www.rainforesttrust.org/saves) and learn more about partnership opportunities.