Leapfrog Conservation Fund

The Leapfrog Conservation Fund was founded by Rainforest TrustGlobal Wildlife Conservation and the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation to support immediate action to avert the threats that are driving our planet’s wildlife towards extinction. The Fund supports the creation of new reserves for important amphibian habitat, or the expansion of existing reserves. We receive a lot of requests and proposals for surveys, monitoring or research – please note that this fund does not support these activities unless they are one component within the creation of a new reserve for amphibians. The Amphibian Survival Alliance is currently developing and screening projects for support on a rolling basis.

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WHY?

The world’s amphibians – frogs, salamanders and caecilians – are flagships for the status of global biodiversity. But they are in trouble. Almost a half of the world’s 7,000 amphibian species are declining as their habitat is destroyed. Over 800 threatened amphibians are afforded no protection; half of these have extremely restricted geographic ranges and many only occur at a single locality. This presents a rare opportunity for conservation. By protecting these localities which are concentrated in the tropics (see map below) we can literally save species from impending extinction with relatively modest and focused investment. This is why the Leapfrog Conservation Fund exists.

Richness map of Threatened amphibian species, with dark red colors corresponding to higher number of species. From Chanson et al. 2008

Richness map of Threatened amphibian species, with dark red colors corresponding to higher number of species. From Chanson et al. 2008

OUR APPROACH

Critical amphibian habitats in the Tropics often lie in private hands. A lack of restrictions on deforestation in private lands can place these tracts of habitat at imminent risk of destruction or degradation. Land purchase, where possible, can be a valuable approach to habitat protection because it places ownership and management responsibility directly in the hands of the in-country partner organization. We have found this to be effective in ensuring the long-term protection and management of key sites for amphibians, which typically have small home ranges in the tropics and therefore can be protected with the strategic acquisition of small tracts of land.

Founding partners of the Leapfrog Conservation Fund share the philosophy that the most beneficial approach is for the ownership and management responsibility of private reserves to be in the hands of a local, in-country conservation organization. The goal of the Leapfrog Conservation Fund is to provide the support necessary to allow these local organizations to purchase and manage critical lands for biodiversity conservation.

Local partners are carefully selected to ensure they are legally constituted non-profits, with good governance, an experienced staff familiar with the local situation, and have the highest legal and ethical insight. Each project is vetted to ensure that due diligence is done on the transfer of land title and to ensure that local communities are not displaced or negatively impacted by the creation of a new reserve. Projects are monitored through regular reporting from local partners to ensure their long-term viability.

APPLY FOR FUNDING: CRITERIA

The Leapfrog Conservation Fund supports the strategic protection of critical amphibian habitat through local partners. Land purchase is the primary action supported by the fund; however, other actions that result in protection of critical habitat for amphibians will be considered if these actions are deemed more effective.

Priority is given to the protection of habitat supporting Endangered and Critically Endangered amphibian species. New species will be eligible if they are clear candidates for threatened status on the Red List. If matching funds are secured this will significantly increase the likelihood of support.

Proposals must clearly demonstrate how the proposed actions will be implemented by a local partner and how the protected area will be managed over the long-term. High quality maps in Google Earth, and Lat/Long coordinates for the proposed project site are a requirement.

WHAT THE LEAPFROG CONSERVATION FUND DOES NOT SUPPORT

The Leapfrog Conservation Fund was established to address the threat of habitat loss to amphibians by actively supporting habitat protection – something that no groups were doing explicitly for amphibians on a global scale. While we recognize the importance of surveys and pure research to increase our understanding of the distribution and status of amphibian species, the Leapfrog Fund does not fund these activities, unless they form an integral and relatively small component of a project whose main goal is the protection of critical amphibian habitat. We are working hard to fundraise for research projects, and recommend you check back on our main Grants page for different funding mechanisms, and check FrogLog, which has a section devoted to funding sources.

HOW TO APPLY

If you have a project to submit for consideration or are interested in developing a proposal for the Leapfrog Conservation Fund please contact Robin Moore with the following information:

  • Project location (include a Google map of the site and surroundings) and site description.
  • Lead local partner (with appropriate links to website etc) and track record of success. We strongly encourage local partners to apply directly.
  • Target species (including IUCN Status and whether they are AZE triggers) – include amphibians plus other taxa as the overall biodiversity value of the site will be taken into consideration.
  • Proposed actions, timeline and approximate budget – please provide any relevant background information.
  • Other partners involved in the project and their roles.
  • Brief explanation of the conservation impact of the proposed project and why this approach is appropriate.
  • Images of the site and target species (we highly recommend submitting around half a dozen images).