The Detroit Zoological Society is a supporter of amphibian conservation in Honduras, as it is a key biodiversity region, with many amphibians facing the threat of extinction. Recognizing this support, at the end of 2018, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approached the Detroit Zoological Society and asked them to host an Amphibian Red List workshop in Honduras. The zoo was excited to help gain an understanding of the conservation needs of the unique amphibians of this country. This IUCN assessment of amphibians was the first assessment of the amphibian species in Honduras for over 15 years.  The assessment was held in country, as it was critical for the participation of local experts with intimate knowledge of the country’s amphibians. Local experts’ knowledge of current assets and constraints was also critical in discussion of future steps for protecting species in critical need. To assess the animals, the Honduran amphibian experts were assembled at la Universidad Zamarano outside Tegucigalpa for a four day workshop. Over the four days, data on 151 species of amphibians in Honduras were assessed to determine their IUCN red list categories.

Although there were more species assessed in 2019 than during the last Honduran IUCN assessment, the overall number of species that are now extinct, critically endangered, and endangered have increased in the country. Armed with this new knowledge, at the end of the assessment workshop a meeting was held with officials from el Instituto de Conservaticion Forestal (ICF) to discuss the results of the assessments and what next steps could be taken.

The Detroit Zoological Society is looking forward to participating in the actions that come from what we learned in this important assessment.

By Detroit Zoological Society