Amphibians the world over are facing probably the world’s most serious extinction crisis. What are your thoughts on the future prospects for amphibian conservation and preventing further extinctions?
Given the numerous serious threats that these animals face (habitat destruction, environmental degradation, disease, harvesting from the wild, etc), the prognosis for amphibians can seem very grim. However, I do remain optimistic as it appears that now more then ever, more and more people are concerned and involved with the recovery of these animals. So many different people are contributing in a multitude of ways, be it captive-breeding, studying threats in the field, collecting data, or raising awareness. Professionals, citizen scientists, and members of the lay community are all working to contribute to the continuing survival of amphibians. Via social networking and the internet, individuals are coming together from all over the world to share their efforts and inspire. More and more people are learning about the plight of amphibians and this is paramount. However, despite the positive aspects, people should not become complacent. Salamanders, frogs, and caecilians are still in terrible trouble and so we must all continue to strive to preserve them.
Why did you join the Alliance and what are you doing to help protect amphibians?
In 2013, I was invited to become a partner of the Alliance. This was a real honour, as it was a chance to join a network of individuals who are all striving to contribute to a cause that is extremely important to me. It was also a chance to share with this network my efforts, and learn about the wonderful things that other groups, organizations, and individuals were doing to help amphibians.
The goals of my Save The Salamanders project are to help contribute to the conservation of salamanders to ensure their continuing survival. This means the recovery and protection of threatened and endangered salamander species, their critical habitats, and their declining populations. My main objective is to achieve the above goals by getting individuals of all ages and all walks of life involved with the recovery of salamanders. These goals are achieved through awareness and education, which helps people develop a sense of empathy and concern for salamanders, and this in turn will fuel their desire to become active in the preservation and advancement of these animals. Education and awareness is made through the utilization of several platforms. These include media appearances, awareness campaigns, social networking, the distribution of informative fact sheets, and educational presentations/displays. I also aim to help salamanders by diligently collecting observational records of these animals in the wild. These records are sent to various organizations to help gain a better understanding of salamander behaviours, populations, ranges, and habitats.
What can the average person, as well as the private sector, do in order to tangibly and actively participate in amphibian conservation?
In my previous answer I stated I aim to get people of all walks of life involved with salamander conservation. I emphasize to people that via behavioural changes, informed decision making, environmental stewardship actions, and habitat management efforts that everyone can get active and make a difference. A whole list of such guidelines has been put together on my Save The Salamanders website. When trying to combat various issues, many people can become overwhelmed as they worry about what they can do to try and help. I have tried to ease this by providing people with a resource full of efforts that they can make: http://www.savethesalamanders.com/how-you-can-help.html
To learn more about how Save The Salamanders is working with the Amphibian Survival Alliance please visit their profile here.
Join The Alliance
If your organization or institution is interested in joining the Amphibian Survival Alliance please contact our Director of Communications and Partnerships Candace M. Hansen-Hendrikx to begin the conversation.
As an ASA partner you will not only demonstrate your dedication to stopping this severe extinction crisis, but also provide the much needed support to drive this initiative forward and on to success. Your support will demonstrate that inaction and indifference to this crisis are unacceptable and that we must work together to restore populations of all threatened native amphibian species within natural ecosystems worldwide.