We are pleased to announce an open call for seed grant applications. 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.
After a year-long consultation process with members of the scientific and conservation community, the first revision to the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan has now been completed. It includes a broad list of priority actions that address specific challenges in amphibian conservation.
Successful applicants to the Amphibian Survival Alliance Seed Grant program will have projects that address at leastone of these priority actions. Simply click on a (+) sign to see a list of actions under the different thematic areas that your project could address.
When completing our online application form, please be sure to note which priority action(s) you project will address.
We accept and review seed grants all year, however grants are announced only four times a year in FrogLog. See the guidelines below for when to submit an application:
- February 1st for Seed Grants announced in March;
- May 1st for Seed Grants announced in June;
- August 1st for Seed Grants announced in September;
- November 1st for Seed Grants announced in December.
- Develop a global accepted term for KBAa’s.
- Identify six regional focal points for KBAa’s.
- Collect relevant data on 15% of all KBAa’s.
- Engage with four national or local government agencies to help protect of sites that are important for amphibians.
- Implement the protection of at least eight Key Biodiversity Areas for amphibians (KBAa’s).
- Recruit two new partners support large habitat conservation initiatives.
- Identify a set of characteristics which make amphibians vulnerable to climate change.
- Identify a set of high priority species.
- Model climate change impacts on 20% of priority species under existing scenarios and models.
- Literature survey and consultation with experts on the use of eDNA to create a working document subject to annual revision.
- Literature review and survey of individuals working in the field of passive acoustic monitoring to create one working document subject to continual revision.
- Matching six experts with students or others interested in PAM.
- Develop guidelines for choosing state variables in monitoring programs and surveys (e.g., should we measure species richness, occupancy, abundance, occurrence of reproduction (tadpoles), life history traits, etc.).
- Develop guidelines for ancillary data (predators, competitors, pathogens, environmental features, possible contaminants, etc.) to be collected in surveys.
- Develop a simplified protocol for adoption and application by citizen science.
- Identify and contact three citizen sciences initiatives that would be interested in partnering for amphibian surveys and monitoring.
- Survey six museums and researchers to determine their field collections guidelines and integrate into best-practice document.
- Develop a better understanding of which GIS data are available and relevant for amphibians (depends on spatial scale), inclusive of literature review and experimentation with GIS (more experimental use of GIS, e.g., making and testing predictions, revising when they prove inaccurate, repeat).
- Develop guidelines for how to analyze and interpret spatial data collected in surveys.
- Recruit six volunteers to collate existing keys by regions; develop lists of keys for taxa/areas to identify existing resources; reach out to six taxonomic experts to assess quality and usefulness of keys.
- Knowledge gaps on the impact and significance of amphibians in community and ecosystem dynamics – review of relevant literature for amphibians in terrestrial and aquatic systems.
- Recruit volunteers to review existing literature on amphibians and ecosystem services.
- Support the integration of Bd/Bsal and ranavirus surveys into all biodiversity survey work.
- Collaborate with disease experts to incorporate disease and pathogen detection into monitoring programs.
- Develop resources (funds, citizen science initiatives) that would allow for ground truthing and border expansion of presently understood species ranges. This can be prioritized by the conservation status of species, e.g., Least Concern species are low priority unless they are disease carriers.
- Act as a clearinghouse where students looking for graduate projects at universities are matched to priority actions.
- Develop clear documentation to help explain the need for surveys and monitoring.
- Recruit amphibian educators and communicators to develop outreach materials in several languages and make them widely available.
- Develop novel tools for the assessment of individuals and populations.
- Develop a network of six amphibian long term ecological monitoring sites worldwide.
- Use existing information sources to identify priority species that need a species conservation strategy.
- Develop and apply prioritization criteria based on more than just level of species endangerment.
- Build up a collection of all existing amphibian species conservation strategies.
- Develop a questionnaire designed to assess the successes and failures of Action Plan implementation.
- Accumulate six case studies and ensure lessons as models are proactively disseminated to other potential amphibian conservation parties.
- Ensure climate change is included in conservation planning and that its impact on defining conservation sites is well-recognised and heeded in all planning.
- Provide technical knowledge and assistance to any party keen to help with amphibian conservation planning.
- Develop and provide a model species conservation planning process.
- Encourage uptake of amphibian planning opportunities by diverse parties.
- Promote participatory approaches in the development of species and site action plans, to elicit buy-in from local stakeholders from the start.
- Build capacity of six local conservationists to conduct simple ‘stakeholder mapping’ to understand their perspectives, interests, potential contribution, etc., and provide guidance on outreach and conflict resolution.
- Identify organizations and individuals to develop species strategies based on priority species.
Establish a network with representatives from the different disciplines.
- Raise awareness of available resources and support networks through quarterly articles in FrogLog and on the amphibians.org website.
- Develop user-friendly guidelines on how to develop an amphibian species action plan.
- Demonstrate through model projects that effective amphibian conservation can be done at low-cost.
- Collate and provide a checklist of funding sources for amphibian conservation.
- Undertake at least five amphibian planning exercises annually from 2015.
- Ensure that conservation needs assessments for priority countries with high amphibian biodiversity are completed.
- Develop and update annually the emergency response plans for various situations.
- Collect environmental/habitat data during emergency collection trips to start informing husbandry and equipment kits for deployment with each rapid response team.
- Identify the areas in which there is the greatest need for amphibian husbandry capacity building.
- Develop and update annually a list of people with conservation husbandry experience.
- Develop and update annually a list of facilities and practitioners.
- Research needs identified in advance for each program species.
- Assess and prioritize species on a national level for their ex situ conservation actions.
- Establish an advisory committee that will update the captive breeding community on how to respond to new threats.
- Identify major medical, nutrition, husbandry concerns/gaps for amphibian programs and prioritize research efforts.
- Develop and update annually a list of potential trouble-shooters who could advise husbandry practitioners on how to implement changes in management strategies.
- Ensure all institutions providing internships are employing current best practice protocols and husbandry standards.
- Based on existing and up-to-date research, develop and then review annually a manual for the controlling of diseases in amphibian assurance colonies and reintroduction programs.
- Ensure that specific aspects of biosecurity are outlined in a program implementation tool.
- Ensure that program managers and staff understand the importance of biosecurity and how to implement relevant protocols.
- Ensure that new information/protocols are widely distributed as they become available.
- Publicize ex situ programs requiring support quarterly through Alliance and Partner communications channels.
- Generate and promote evidence-based husbandry protocols through the establishment of an online open access journal on amphibian husbandry updated.
- Update and circulate amphibian population management guideline annually.
- Ensure captive breeding program managers understand how to properly manage the amphibian populations they are responsible for and provide support as required.
- Approach veterinarians and wildlife epidemiologists to ensure that new methods/techniques are filtered down to husbandry practitioners.
- Develop a plan of action for diseases where there is no reliable screening and/or treatment in the event of an outbreak.
- Develop and disseminate disease risk assessments for known amphibian diseases which have the potential to undermine captive breeding programs.
- Develop an international center for captive breeding and research of priority species.
- Carry out systematic evidence review/meta-analysis of factors affecting reintroduction success and identify research shortfalls and most appropriate methods.
- Refine protocols for amphibian reintroductions.
- Continue to carry out, support and disseminate research aimed at identifying threats, such as novel pathogens and invasive species.
- Assess ‘reintroduceability’ of species on the basis of data on (1) current population status; (2) potential for threat neutralization; (3) available habitat; (4) national and local stakeholder support; (5) availability of stock for release; (6) viability of reintroduced population; (7) inability of the species to respond to alternative interventions (e.g., habitat restoration); (8) Life history characteristics, particularly generation time; fecundity and mode of reproduction.
- Continue to work with biostatisticians to ensure that new developments in statistical modelling are included within survey design and analysis protocols.
- Continue to conduct reintroductions with experimental design and through an adaptively managed program that allows us to learn more about how to successfully establish the priority species.
- Create communication tools to demonstrate the importance of taxonomy.
- Identify the large amphibian collections around the world and highlight these as centers of excellence.
- Ensure the centers are up-to-date and partnering with each other and the database information is correct.
- Identify areas that have a lack of taxonomists.
- Identify future taxonomists in Gap Areas and build partnerships with centers of excellence.
- Facilitate identification of amphibian species listed in CITES by law enforcement officers through the development of a pictorial guide.
- Develop materials to help with species identifications (e.g., field guides).
- Develop fund for grants to high caliber doctoral students filling critical research gaps. Identify potential donors for a fund and develop concept note for doctoral grants fund.
- Invite and publish articles by Bsal and BNV researchers on the urgency of a global sampling effort with specific recommendations.
- Support academic partners to develop a website like http://www.bd-maps.net for Bsaland ranavirus and promote it using ASA communications channels including ASA-AmphibiaWeb Science Zone.
- Identify priority areas and species for surveys of infectious disease prevalence
- Facilitate collaborations between researchers, local and international universities, protected area managers and other Alliance members to undertake disease and population monitoring in priority areas.
- Support a citizen science project that encourages pet owners to swab their pet amphibians for Bsal.
- Identify labs that analyze swabs for Bd/Bsal.
- Convene experts to identify priority areas and species for surveys of amphibian defences.
- Facilitate collaborations between researchers, protected area managers, zoos and other captive breeding facilities, and other Alliance members to undertake disease and population monitoring in priority areas.
- Conduct Bsal susceptibility experiments on priority species that represent a wide taxonomic range to determine the extent of the threat.
- Identify high-priority candidate species for probiotic trials from ecosystems not yet represented in probiotics research.
- Support local graduate students and protected area managers to implement trials..
- Convene an expert working group/workshop to identify barriers to the reintroduction of surplus captive amphibians and make recommendations.
- Co-author a policy piece for a high profile journal with the recommendations from this working group.
- Convene a meeting with experts to explore the state of the art and encourage additional brainstorming and collaboration. Encourage research with an ASA seed grant category for this topic.
- Consider a web-based interactive solution with relevant tabs such as Bd/Bsal maps, funding opportunities, mitigation research updates and project plans for brainstorming by the larger group.
- Undertake the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas for Amphibians, starting in regions of ongoing decline, and ensure that information on threats from infectious disease is incorporated into the documentation.
- Facilitate input of disease experts into the existing priority-setting processes of AArk, AZA and other institutions involved in amphibian rescues.
- Develop an emergency fund for highly threatened species where no other funding exists.
- Convene meeting to brainstorm outside the box conservation strategies for the large number of species on the brink of extinction.
- Raise public awareness about amphibian diseases by expand and strengthen social media campaigns to reach a broader audience.
- Raise public awareness about amphibian diseases by engage education graduate students to develop curriculum module at various grade levels.
- Work with ASA partners to convince regulatory authorities of relevant countries to implement a moratorium on importation of salamanders until a testing program for Bsal is in place.
- Work with Associations and major importers and stores in the US to encourage testing, treatment, and disease risk minimization.
- Evaluate potential threats of disease spread into novel environments via ecotourism and communicate data to government agencies to educate the public and promote appropriate regulations.
- Raise awareness of the lack of conservation evidence on pollution-related threat mitigation and encourage publication of these studies through online communication channels and publications.
- Target persistent pesticides (e.g., atrazine) and contaminants (e.g., Hg or DDT).
- Target pesticides/contaminants that are known to be endocrine disruptors.
- Promote and advocate for the testing of amphibians as part of routine toxicological screening.
- Determine adequate models and standards for standard toxicity tests.
- Support international group investigating the ‘agrochemical updraft hypothesis’ in the tropics as a possible explanation to enigmatic extinctions in high elevations.
- Create a prioritized list of target species for genome sequencing.
- Engage six sequencing and bioinformatics Partners.
- Support funding initiatives, formation and interactions of research consortia aimed at amphibian genome sequencing, assembly and annotation as well as developing and using these molecular tools and approaches.
- Identify a sustainable informatics structure for providing public access to genome information.
- Create prioritized list of species and areas for tissue collection and cryopreservation (determine types of tissue collected: somatic, reproductive, blood, etc.)
- Support funding of initiatives, formation and interactions of research consortia.
- Construct a list of research topics which urgently need to be addressed and actively promote participation within educational systems worldwide.
- Development of technical manuals, protocols, hands on training and public awareness campaigns for amphibian tissue acquisition and storage in four conservation specific countries.
- Develop a fund to support emergency pathogen surveillance in traded amphibians.
- Identify species that warrant targeted disease surveillance to evaluate the presence of specific emerging pathogens in traded amphibians.
- Identify amphibian species previously subject to high trade volumes that were subsequently governed by specific trade quotas and obtain recent field population data.
- Identify amphibian species commonly traded in high volumes as “bred in captivity”.
- Identify species that are more likely to be wild-harvested and monitor trade, identify if these species life histories are conducive to commercial-scale breeding
- Identify and contact taxonomic experts on species listed in CITES and work to produce a list of potential target species. Assess whether there are particular areas of their distribution that may contain forms which could be most vulnerable to trade (via points of origin collections) and may be at risk of extirpation.
- Identify regions where amphibian disease events have caused population decline, but commercial harvest may be occurring.
- Convene a meeting with international amphibian experts to identify species that may warrant proposal for CITES listing at the next CoP.
- Implement immediate policy level actions to reduce the potential risk of Bsal entering North America.
- Develop outreach material for amphibian traders and buyers, as well as amphibian collectors.
Work with responsible and legitimate amphibian breeders to disseminate awareness-raising materials related to biosecurity, ethical sourcing of amphibians and conservation priorities.
- Engage in discussion with World Customs Organization to create codes specific to amphibians.
- Engage in discussions with USFWS regarding the need for policies that reduce the threat of pathogen introduction via the international amphibian trade.
- Identify and enlist five strategic partners that can act as mediators between the Alliance and decision-makers.
- Build collaborations with six academic institutions to encourage resource allocation towards amphibian research.
- Develop a seed grant fund and actively promote all seed grants focused on amphibians.
- Develop annual list of research priorities across all thematic areas and disseminate on the Science Zone, disseminate on social media, and highlight in FrogLog .
- Identify six people willing to translate guidance documents.
- Identify list of six institutions willing to host interns. Obtain USD 20,000 dollars in annual funding for internship programs.
- Develop reference library to be hosted online and accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
- Support and develop initiatives with existing training providers.
- Identify gaps in training and capacity building coverage for amphibian conservation, research and education.
- Produce a database with known and documented points of origin (collection localities) for all species listed in CITES.
- Collect environmental / habitat data for threatened and priority species
- Establish central open-access database for amphibian reintroductions.
- Utilize new tools in GIS and spatial and landscape ecology to identify and assess priority types of habitats.
- Design and agree on five protocols, data sharing etc.
Support a Seed Grant
Seed grants are often seen as a vital funding source to kick start projects and encourage innovative approaches to addressing conservation issues. As such, the Amphibian Survival Alliance is eager to establish a fund and have regular Seed Grants to help continue the development of innovative approaches to addressing the amphibian conservation challenges of today.
We have already secured some limited funding for this initiative but are looking to work with partners like yourself to match funding and develop collaborative Seed Grants. The Alliance will aim to match funds 1:1 with all Alliance Partners interested in joining resources. If your organization has +$500 that they would like to see matched and invested in a Seed Grant program let us know.
Seed Grants 2015
We are excited to announce the winners of the most recent round of ASA Seed Grants:
Amphibian Capacity Building Venezuela: Taxonomy, Biology, Distribution and Ecology. Learn more
CHURA – Conserving Hyperendemic Udzungwa Restricted Amphibians. Learn more
Returning from the Brink: Rebounding Amphibian Populations in a Pathogen Enzootic Environment. Learn more
Where is Calilegua’s Marsupial Frog? Learn more
Sex in the Lab: Using a New Technique to Facilitate Breeding in Tree Frogs. Learn more
Conservation Status of Telmatobius intermedius and Other Amphibians in the Pampa Galeras National Reserve – Barbara D’Achille, Ayacucho, Peru. Learn more
Here are some of the projects we have supported to date with seed grants:
Note: All grants issued before 2013 were managed by the IUCN SCC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG). All grants US based grants during this time period were supported by USGSAmphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative all other grants were directly supported by the ASG.
By supporting an ASA Seed Grant, you are among a select group of organizations powering projects that depend on small grants such as these to be launched. These grants, even though small in size, have tremendous meaning to their recipients and the conservation need they have set out to address. Support a seed grant, and join our incredible partners below.
Pura Vida supports several seed grants throughout the year. With their support we were able to help fund a project in Ecuador that is working to promote the conservation of several Glass frog speciesinhabiting the reserve through habitat and breeding monitoring, as well as a project enhancing amphibian survival through education, awareness and forest rehabilitation in Kenya.
Liquidspark Media & Marketing is located in Bryson City, North Carolina and supports the ASA’s amphibian work in the Great Smoky Mountains of North America through seed grants. These seed grants will go towards innovative work protecting and researching amphibian species and their habitat in these watersheds, which hold the highest biodiversity of salamanders in the world.
The British Herpetological Society increased its level of proactive support for crucial research and conservation of globally threatened herpetofauna by making an initial donation to help fund two projects. One is an amphibian survey and capacity-building project in the British Virgin Islands, a UK Overseas Territory; the other will survey salamanders in remote parts of Algeria.
Support A Seed Grant
Click here to support a project that is currently looking for funding.