The BBC just filed a report (click here) with some meaty information about the amphibian crisis I hadn’t read before. Environmental correspondent Richard Black interviewed leading conservationists at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. Apparently, it was a good opportunity for everyone to take inventory on what has transpired in this “year of the frog.” Excerpts:
This World Conservation Congress saw the release of another Red List. So how did amphibians fare this time around?
“In the intervening four years, we’ve had 366 species added to the Red List,” says Mike Hoffman, who recently helped co-ordinate Threatened Amphibians of the World, the vast, glossy, information-packed book that CI has just brought out.
Here at the World Conservation Congress are many of the scientists who were present that sunny Washington morning and released their prescription for salvation, the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan. So three years on, it is time to ask: how are you doing? First, the money; did it show up?
“It’s hard to say, because there have been a lot of other initiatives as well such as Amphibian Ark, which has a lot of facilities,” says Claude Gascon, co-chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Specialist Group and a senior scientist with Conservation International (CI).
“But from our perspective we’ve probably had about $10m which has gone directly into tip-of-the-iceberg sites that have been very important for conserving the last of a species.”
Keeping alive all the species we know about, let alone the ones we have yet to discover, is a daunting task, even given the resources that have been mobilised since the launch of the amphibian rescue plan three years ago. But, says Claude Gascon, we have to try.
“I would argue that the story of amphibians is the story of humans. If we don’t get amphibians sorted, the next batch to go extinct may be primates.”