By Luis F. Marin da Fonte and Luis Carrillo, IUCN ASG Brazil and Amphibian Ark

The Amphibian Ark (AArk) and the Brazilian regional branch of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG Brazil) have recently conducted the Conservation Needs Assessment (CNA) of all threatened amphibian species and other species of conservation interest in the country. The CNA process, developed and managed by the AArk, seeks to objectively and consistently identify priority species and their immediate conservation needs. Through a transparent, logical and objective method, the CNA process uses current knowledge of species in the wild to determine those with the most pressing conservation needs and provides a foundation for the development of holistic conservation action plans that combine in situ and ex situ actions, as appropriate. CNAs generate national prioritized lists of species recommended for one or more conservation action, and these can subsequently be used to assist in the development of species recovery plans and national action plans, or to better inform national conservation priorities, identifying priority taxa for both in situ or ex situ conservation work. Between 2007 and the end of 2018, AArk staff have facilitated workshops to assess the conservation needs of around 2,700 (~33%) of the world’s amphibian species at 41 national or regional workshops. To learn more about the CNA, please access its official website. If you are interested in conducting assessments in your country, please contact the AArk (email address).

Usually, CNAs are carried out in in-person workshops, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this time assessments were entirely made in 5 online workshops held between August 17-21, 2020. The primary aim of the assessment was to update and in some cases conduct first-time assessments for approximately 75 amphibian species threatened with extinction in Brazil. More than 50local assessors were identified by ASG Brazil members from a wide variety of backgrounds, including academics, researchers, students, and members of governmental agencies. The assessments were facilitated by AArk’s Training Officer Luis Carrillo, by ASG Brazil members Cybele Lisboa, Iberê Machado, Luis F. Marin da Fonte and Débora Silvano, and Luis F. Toledo (UNICAMP). The results of the assessments are currently being reviewed and will be soon published on the CNA website.