Most visitors to this blog will already be aware of a well-known ecological crisis — the very real possibility that one-third to one-half of all 6,000 amphibian species on earth will become extinct in our lifetime.
The Amphibian Ark (AArk) is a joint effort of three principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG). We were formed to address the ex situ components of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan.
Our vision is the world’s amphibians safe in nature, and our mission is ensuring the global survival of amphibians, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature.
We coordinate ex situ programs implemented by partners around the world, with the first emphasis on programs within the range countries of the species, and with a constant attention to our obligation to couple ex situ conservation measures with necessary efforts to protect or restore species in their natural habitats.
This blog was developed by Jeff Davis (aka pleasecroak) from St Louis, and in mid-2009, it was handed over to the AArk staff to continue its success.
AArk’s Program Director, Kevin Zippel coordinates all aspects of implementation within the Amphibian Ark initiative to fulfill the mandate for ex situ components of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan. He works with and oversees the team of AArk officers.
Ron Gagliardo joined the AArk team in 2008, in the role of Training Officer and he is based at Atlanta Zoo in the US. In this position he leads development and implementation of training programs for building capacity of individuals and institutions to conduct successful ex situ conservation programs for amphibian species.
In his role as Taxon Officer and Communications & Development Officer, Kevin Johnson assists AArk partners in identifying priority taxa and regions for ex situ conservation work and helping to coordinate among Taxon Management Groups. Kevin is based in Sydney, Australia and is also responsible for the AArk web site, newsletter and other communications.