The Amphibian Survival Alliance, Rainforest Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation and Andrew Sabin Family Foundation are taking a bold step in the fight to save amphibians by committing one million dollars to protect key habitats worldwide over the coming year. The fund, which has been named the Leapfrog Conservation Fund, will be dispersed through the ASA – the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation – to strategically protect and manage key habitats for frogs, salamanders, caecilians and other species for the benefit of current and future generations.
“Habitat loss is the single biggest threat to the survival of amphibians worldwide” said Don Church, Executive Director of the ASA, adding “this million dollar commitment represents a landmark in the battle to stem the alarming loss of frogs, salamanders and caecilians. We hope that it will encourage others to step forward and make a commitment to protecting amphibians and habitats.” Dr Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust, said “amphibians represent an opportunity to stem biodiversity loss through relatively modest investments. We can literally save entire species through strategic habitat protection. We are thrilled to be able to make this commitment to protecting the most threatened vertebrate group in priority sites worldwide.”
[pullquote]amphibians represent an opportunity to stem biodiversity loss through relatively modest investments. We can literally save entire species through strategic habitat protection.[/pullquote]
Amphibians are at the forefront of what is being widely referred to as the sixth mass extinction event on earth. Around a half of over 7,000 amphibian species are in decline, a third are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened species, and more than 120 species are thought to have been lost in recent years. Disease and climate change have been implicated in the sudden and rapid disappearance of species from South, Central and North America, Europe and Australia – but the primary threat to the survival of many amphibian species is the rampant loss and degradation of habitats, such as rainforests. In the tropics, where the entire range of a species may be as small as a single stream, amphibians often fall through the cracks in protected area coverage and a recent study revealed that 940 amphibian species worldwide occur in unprotected habitat.
The Leapfrog Conservation Fund will strategically and collaboratively target the most threatened habitats for protection. “Partnerships are the key to success” said Robin Moore, Conservation Officer with the ASA, Rainforest Trust and Global Wildlife Conservation, “we all have a stake in the future of our environment, and what is truly exciting about the Leapfrog Conservation Fund is that it represents an opportunity forunique collaborations to achieve a common goal – saving amphibians and the habitats upon which we all depend.”
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The Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) is the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation, formed in response to the decline of frogs, salamanders and caecilians worldwide. Without immediate and coordinated action we stand to lose half of some 7,000 species of amphibians in our lifetimes. The ASA draws on cutting-edge research to protect amphibians and key habitats worldwide, in addition to educating and inspiring the global community to become a part of the amphibian conservation movement. www.amphibians.org
Rainforest Trust, formerly World Land Trust-US, is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving rainforest and endangered species. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved more than 7 million acres of rainforest and other tropical habitats in 67 projects across 17 tropical countries. The nonprofit purchases and protects threatened land by forming partnerships with local conservation organizations and engaging indigenous communities. Rainforest Trust has been awarded the top four-star Charity Navigator rating for each of the last five years. www.rainforesttrust.org
Global Wildlife Conservation
Global Wildlife Conservation works on conservation and research projects related to biodiversity. Three major themes are Exploration – conducting field expeditions to the world’s most biologically important and threatened areas; Research – implementing conservation studies on threatened species and habitats; and Conservation – translating science to action so that wildlife and wild lands are effectively protected. www.globalwildlife.org