You won’t believe where the bid stands right now for the naming rights to this gorgeous frog. The high bidder gets to name this newly discovered species in the genus Anomaloglossus — an endangered “nurse frog” indigenous to Venezuela. The news release from Amphibian Ark says:

“This fantastic frog lays eggs on land! The parents guard the eggs and keep them moist until they hatch, then carry the tadpoles (hence nurse frog) to protected pools of water to complete their development. This previously unknown species was discovered by scientists in 2004.

“The winning bidder’s selected name will be published in a scientific journal. The winner will also receive a photo of the frog engraved with its new name, and a framed letter of thanks from Jeff Corwin. In addition, arrangements can be made to see some threatened frogs in their natural habitat in Venezuela, where the winners’ contribution supports conservation programs.

“The proceeds will be used by Amphibian Ark partners in Venezuela to save some of the country’s most endangered amphibian species – including the new, nurse frog. The auction is being conducted by CharityBuzz.”

Here’s link to the auction site.


Jeremy Elton Jacquot just posted this on TreeHugger

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.

Read, learn, enjoy this new AP story. And also here is link to the auction page.

Conservationists auction off frog naming rights/Associated Press

 A girl has to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, but how to interpret the gesture when the prince makes a bid to name a frog in her honor?

That’s one possible scenario, thanks to a new online auction allowing a high bidder to win the right to name a frog species.

Amphibian Ark, an international collaboration of conservationists working to save frogs, is organizing the effort to auction the naming rights to five species of frogs on the Internet – one frog a month for five months.

Profits will fund efforts to protect frogs at a crucial time, said Kevin Zippel, Amphibian Ark’s program director. Amphibians have been on the planet for 360 million years, but based on recent science, “This is the greatest extinction rate they’ve ever faced,” he said.

The first frog that a member of the public can name – for the right price – is from Ecuador, a member of the Osornophryne genus.

The frog was discovered in 1997, and there are no living members of the species in captivity, but whoever wins the online auction will be able to determine its species name. The profits raised will go to fund work to save frogs in Ecuador. Details on the other four frogs, and where the money will go to protect frogs, have not yet been released.

The hope is that auctioning off the naming rights could raise between $100,000 to $200,000 for each of the five frogs.

The estimate is based on prices paid in the past in separate efforts for the rights to name animals, like the $650,000 an Internet casino paid in 2005 to name a monkey species for the benefit of a national park in Bolivia. Its moniker?

“The potential to raise money to save these species outweighed any criticism we might get that we’re selling out,” said Zippel, speaking by telephone from Auburn, N.Y., where he lives.

A description of the new species will be published in a professional journal, and its scientific name will need to conform to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Zippel offered an example: If Donald Trump were a winning bidder of a frog from Rana genus, it wouldn’t be named “Rana Donald Trump,” but “Rana donaldtrumpi.”

The Internet naming contest at is just one of many ways Amphibian Ark is trying to raise awareness about the plight of the frog. The group has dubbed 2008 the “Year of the Frog,” with zoos and other organizations around the world holding events to educate about the threats frogs are facing.

From one-third to one-half of the planet’s amphibian species are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, over collection and disease, including a fatal fungus.

Scientists say they have to figure out a way to rid the environment of chytrid fungus or help frogs develop a resistance. The frogs can be cured with a fungicide, but they’ll be affected again upon re-entry.

Amphibian Ark wants 500 frogs from 500 species to be held in biosecure facilities around the world. Jeffrey Bonner, president of the Saint Louis Zoo and Amphibian Ark’s immediate past chair, called the effort “protective custody for frogs.”

Profits from the auction of the first frog will be donated to the lab of Dr. Luis Coloma in Ecuador for frog conservation work.

Researchers don’t know if they’ll be able to save the frog whose naming rights are being auctioned. That’s because they don’t know how many are still in the wild.

But, Zippel said, the funds will go to study how many of those frogs remain in the field and to help efforts to conserve it and other frogs in Ecuador.

Bonner called the online auction “just lovely.” He said, “It’s such a wonderful idea. I hope it works.” If $500,000 were raised, “we could save a lot of animals,” he said.

Amphibian Ark is a partnership between the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Conservation Union.

Nice to see Mongabay write about the walking frog auction:

The Amphibian Ark, an initiative to save disappearing amphibians from extinction, will auction of the naming rights of a newly discovered ‘walking frog’ in Ecuador to raise money for local conservation efforts.

The naming rights for the frog, which belongs to the Osornophryne genus, will be sold at The winning bidder’s selected name will be published in a scientific journal. Bidding ends May 31. 2008.

Auctioning off naming rights for species is increasingly used by conservation groups to raise money for protecting biodiversity. 


Walking frog. Courtesy of the Amphibian Ark

Walking frogs are known for having no tadpole stage. Instead froglets emerge directly out of eggs.

More than one-third the world’s amphibians are at risk due to habitat loss, the introduction of alien species, overexploitation as food and pets, pollution, climate change, and the outbreak of a deadly fungal disease.

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 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 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

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