AmphibiaWeb has just launched our Spring 2021 newsletter. We commemorate a sad passing in our conservation community. We also offer signs of hope and new upgrades to look forward to. In January, the amphibian research and conservation communities abruptly lost Dr. Phil Bishop, who was the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) Chief Scientist and Co-Chair for IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, and a professor at University of Otago, New Zealand. Phil was a collaborator, friend, and advocate of AmphibiaWeb, and will be sorely missed. Phil delighted the social media world on Twitter with his often whimsical, and personal, daily posts on amphibian species (#frogOTD) and behind the scenes, we found humor and optimism infused in all our interactions with him. However, Phil was serious about amphibian conservation and sought out amphibians wherever he traveled. He understood the mission of AmphibiaWeb and wanted to support our conservation bibliography compilation, so he spent time with Tim Halliday to document the process Tim relied on for decades. When Halliday passed in 2019, Phil took on this task in his lab, which he shared with AmphibiaWeb. In honor of both Phil’s and Tim’s dedication to enabling amphibian research and conservation, we are collaborating with ASA and IUCN ASG to update the conservation bibliography and renamed it the Halliday-Bishop Conservation Library. In the coming months, we will plan a new framework to ensure this resource is sustainable and more useful than ever and will announce opportunities to participate.

Speaking of new opportunities, AmphibiaWeb has recently launched a major upgrade to its navigation, which regular users may notice right away. We hope you will find it more logical and easier to navigate the website. It’s spring cleaning and remodeling all at once! The main layout change is a brand new left-side navigation menu, which includes a new search box to more quickly find any species-give it a try! Clicking on sections will expand onto main pages. Other new content includes a new articulation of our vision, education pages for separate audiences (for kids, for teens and for educators), and updated and expanded content in our amphibian declines and conservation section, which is still a work in progress. Expect to see new maps and analysis as we process AmphibiaWeb data in the weeks to come. Most exciting, we have started to implement a new authoring system to make species account editing easier. This is in the early stages of deployment so watch out for tutorials and other events this spring. Follow us on social media (links at the bottom of this newsletter) for announcements of these upcoming developments.

The work of saving amphibians that Tim Halliday and Phil Bishop dedicated their lives to is not done and neither is AmphibiaWeb’s. We hope our new developments will keep our vision alive. You can read the entire edition of our newsletter here.