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 worlds 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 planets 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 harms 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 bidders 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 countrys 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 planets 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.