The National Association of Biology Teachers, representing thousands of educators who can make future leaders appreciate the importance of threatened amphibians, will host Jean-Michel Cousteau next month in Memphis (Oct. 17, 2008) at the association’s national conference. Mr. Cousteau is a patron of Amphibian Ark. Here he is talking about his personal connection to amphibians and why this planet can’t afford to lose them.
September 8, 2008
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May 25, 2008
With the hot summer months fast approaching, Amphibian Ark, the international organization helping to keep endangered amphibian species afloat (whose efforts we profiled here), needs your help now more than ever. They’ve just embarked on an ambitious new grassroots initiative, called “5 for frogs,” to get more people involved with their efforts and raise awareness; it’s part of their broader “50 ways to save amphibians” initiative.
Like many of their endangered brethren, a large proportion of amphibian species, whose natural habitats have been especially impacted by the anthropogenic activities and global warming, could go extinct over the coming years — perhaps up to 50% of them. Recently, they teamed up with the Amphibian Project, a like-minded outfit, to organize a fund-raising drive meant to help save the Large-crested toad (i.e. Bufo cristatus for the science buffs in the audience), one of the planet’s most endangered amphibians.
Jeff Corwin and Jean-Michel Cousteau … have also lent their considerable imprimatur to help support AArk’s first frog naming-rights auction, which will end on May 31. The winning bidder will win the naming rights to a newly discovered “walking frog” species, indigenous to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador.
So, please: get involved — picking even one of the “50 ways to save amphibians” will make a big difference — and help make this the year we save amphibians from the brink of extinction.
May 15, 2008
It’s taken a lot of patience and hard work by the scientists associated with Amphibian Ark, but the organization has just launched its first species naming auction – the first of five that will happen during this 5 for Frogs summer. Details of the auction and the new Ecuadorian species are pasted below — pretty cool that it’s a frog that walks instead of hops. When this auction is through, the auctioneer should yell at the top of his lungs, GOING … GOING … SAVED! If you know people who could write a big check to save amphibians, and would find it really cool to name a new species, please make sure they see this right away.
And, how cool is it that Jeff Corwin and Jean-Michele Cousteau are lending their names to this?!
NEWS RELEASE–Amphibian Ark, a global conservation organization formed in an effort to help save the world’s amphibians from mass extinction, is announcing its first frog naming rights auction, beginning immediately. The highest bid made on www.CharityBuzz.com will win the naming rights to a newly discovered species in the genus Osornophryne, an endangered “walking frog” indigenous to the remote Andes Mountains in Ecuador.
From one-third to one-half of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species – frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians – are in danger of extinction and the walking frog is no exception. The causes for these declines and extinctions come in different forms, including habitat loss, climate change, emerging diseases, pollution, and over-collection for food and pets.
“After thriving for 360 million years, frogs are in harm’s way,” said Jean-Michel Cousteau, supporter of Amphibian Ark and founder of the Oceans Future Society. “Because amphibians are the first to feel the effects of environmental stressors that could ultimately harm humans, the time to act is now.”
Walking frogs are known for having no tadpoles; instead hatched eggs release froglets. And, instead of jumping, they walk slowly along the forests of the Andes.
The winning bidder’s selected name will be published in a scientific journal. Arrangements can also be made to tour the conservation facilities in Ecuador that will protect the species, and see other endangered amphibians in their natural habitat.
The proceeds will be used by Amphibian Ark partners in Ecuador to save some of the country’s most endangered amphibian species – including the new, walking frog. The auction is being conducted by CharityBuzz.
Auctioning off naming rights for species is a growing tactic by wildlife protection organizations to raise the funds necessary to protect our planet’s biodiversity. Recent auctions have allowed philanthropists to name butterflies, monkeys, and fish.
“We are very proud to be working with Amphibian Ark in their incredibly worthy project to help raise money to protect endangered amphibians,” said Coppy Holzman, CEO of CharityBuzz.com. “Based on our prior species naming experience, we fully expect this series of frog naming auctions to be very successful and encourage everyone to visit the site and aid this worthy cause.”
In order to make a bid or learn more about Amphibian Ark and the new walking frog species, please visit http://www.charitybuzz.com/area.do?id=773.
Amphibian Ark is a partnership between the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, and IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. It was formed to develop, promote, and guide short term captive management of threatened amphibians, making possible the long-term survival of species for which adequate protection in the wild is not currently possible. For additional information about Amphibian Ark please visit www.amphibianark.org.
May 6, 2008
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Amphibian Ark, a global conservation organization created to raise awareness and rally fundraising to protect endangered amphibian species, announced last week the commencement of its 5 for Frogs campaign. 5 for Frogs is a grassroots crusade with the goal of raising $500,000 to save five endangered species in five months.
The ”pay it forward” spirit behind 5 for Frogs asks kids and adults to do something to help frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians through acts of kindness involving the number 5. It could be as simple as someone telling or emailing five people about the looming mass extinction of amphibians. Or, it could be holding a charity car wash or selling cookies to raise $5, $50, or even $500 for Amphibian Ark to allocate to rescue projects. If thousands get involved, each can play a part in saving five or more species from extinction. Fifty ideas for getting involved in 5 for Frogs are listed on the Amphibian Ark Web site at www.amphibianark.org.
The May kickoff of 5 for Frogs started with a U.S. national FrogWatch on May 3 involving hundreds of students who will monitor the environmental health status of amphibians in their communities through a cooperative effort organized by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and the National Wildlife Federation. FrogWatch is a volunteer-based program that encourages everyone to help by getting outdoors and monitoring local wetlands for breeding frogs and toads.
“Not since the disappearance of the dinosaurs have we seen an extinction of this magnitude,” said Jean-Michele Cousteau, supporter of Amphibian Ark and founder of the Oceans Future Society. “Because amphibians are the first to feel the effects of environmental stressors that could ultimately harm humans, and they play a critical role in our ecosystem, the time to act is now.”
In addition to the grassroots activities, 5 for Frogs will feature several global, special events throughout the summer. Five species of amphibians that have not yet been given common names will have their naming rights auctioned, with proceeds earmarked for Amphibian Ark. And, an endangered Mexican species, the Large-crested toad, received special visibility on Cinco de Mayo, celebrated, of course, on the fifth day of the fifth month.
“It costs only $100,000 to save one species of amphibians, which is a relatively low cost for avoiding extinction,” said Jeff Corwin, supporter of Amphibian Ark and host of The Discovery Network’s Animal Planet. “The Year 2008 has been dubbed The Year of the Frogs by conservationists from around the world to highlight the amphibian crisis and to save the most endangered species from extinction. As a result, the 5 for Frogs campaign could not come at a better time in an attempt to channel these efforts.”
Amphibian Ark is a partnership between the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, and IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. It was formed to develop, promote, and guide short term captive management of threatened amphibians, making possible the long-term survival of species for which adequate protection in the wild is not currently possible. To learn more about Amphibian Ark, the 5 for Frogs campaign, and to review 50 inspirational and creative ways to raise funds for amphibians, please visit www.amphibianark.org.
May 2, 2008
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This is a really great, new video of Jean-Michel Cousteau explaining his personal commitment to Amphibian Ark and overviewing the amphibian extinction crisis. Check out the photo of him and his father, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and the frog menagerie that Jean-Michel has in his home office.
Amphibian Ark truly is fortunate to have a dream team of conservationist “celebrities” supporting our cause: Jean-Michel is joined by Sir David Attenborough and Jeff Corwin in lending time and talent to make the world take notice that we are in danger of losing up to half of the world’s 6,000 amphibian species. Note that the video ends with the new 5 for Frogs campaign logo. Hope you will get involved.
April 23, 2008
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April 16, 2008
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Amphibian Ark received this letter from Sage. Sage example, don’t you think? The child was responding to the Leap Day email that Jean-Michel Cousteau sent on behalf of Amphibian Ark.