Presentation on theme: "Amphibian Ark Keeping threatened amphibian species afloat."— Presentation transcript:
Amphibian Ark Keeping threatened amphibian species afloat
Are they really in trouble? 5,743 species of amphibians –43% in decline (2469 spp.) –32% threatened (1856 spp.) –120+ extinct since 1980 –23% data deficient (1294 spp) probably endangered Worse than birds (12%) or mammals (23%)
Beginnings of a mass extinction Nearly one-third (32%) of the world’s amphibian species - representing 1,856 species - are threatened with extinction. Up to 122 species may have gone extinct since 1980. At least 43% of all species are declining in population size.
Habitat Loss and Degradation Climate Change Chemical Contamination Infectious Disease Invasive Species Over-Harvesting Complex Causes
The Mandates 2005 IUCN ACAP White Papers: –“Survival assurance colonies are mandatory for amphibian species that will not persist in the wild long enough to recover naturally once environments are restored; these species need to be saved now through ex-situ measures so that more complete restoration of ecosystems is possible in the future” 2005 IUCN ACAP Declaration: –“The ACAP recommends prioritized... captive survival assurance programs... to buy time for species that would otherwise become extinct...” 2006 IUCN ACAP Report: –“The only hope for populations and species at immediate risk of extinction is immediate rescue for the establishment and management of captive survival-assurance colonies”
Making the Mandate Tangible To save from immediate extinction every species that needs ex situ conservation,... … each zoo must commit to secure the future for one amphibian species. ~500 zoos working individually and together = ~500 species saved
Do we have the resources? If each visitor contributes just 2 cents for amphibian conservation, then we will have all the funds that we need. If each zoo would devote to amphibians the resources that are devoted to the care of one high-profile, big mammal species in your collection, then we will have all the resources that we need.
We do have (or can have) the needed financial resources! Direct allocation from existing conservation or collection budgets Special fund-raising, individually and collectively
We do have (or can have) the needed financial resources! Direct allocation from existing conservation or collection budgets Special fund-raising, individually and collectively But the rest of the task will be challenging!
Challenges: We need more … Facilities Expertise Knowledge Techniques and standards Communication and coordination Partnerships Public awareness, support, and action
Challenges: We need more … Facilities Expertise Knowledge Techniques and standards Communication and coordination Partnerships Public awareness, support, and action Help is on the way!
WAZA and CBSG are together taking responsibility for helping to coordinate the global amphibian ex situ conservation response
Working in close partnership with the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group
What is the Amphibian Ark? AArk is a joint effort of WAZA, CBSG, and ASG formed to address the ex situ components of the ACAP. The mission is to ensure long-term survival in nature utilizing short-term ex situ management of amphibian taxa for which adequate protection in the wild is not currently possible. AArk will coordinate ex situ programs implemented by global partners (i.e., you!). Members of the AArk will be members of WAZA, regional, or national zoo associations, AArk-approved private partners and AArk-approved museums, universities and wildlife agencies.
Steering Committee Co-chairs: WAZA, CBSG, ASG Taxon Management Groups Taxon Rescue Plans WAZA members and affiliates private sector partners Other approved ex situ facilities (e.g. universities, wildlife agencies) Regional Zoo & Aquarium Association members Training OfficerCommunications OfficerTaxon Officer Advisors: Reintro, Vet, Gene Banking, Legal, Ethical, etc. Other Officers: Regional, Institutional WAZACBSGASG IUCN SSC ResearchConservationAssessment In situ Amphibian Program Officer Other members: Regional Zoo Assocs, Private, Academia, Government Amphibian Ark
ASG Conservation Officer Kevin Zippel CBSG/ WAZA Amphibian Program Officer Don Church, CI Conservation Officer GLOBAL COORDINATION Joe Mendelson, ASG ExOfficer Robin Moore
Support for local implementation Taxon Management (Rescue) Officer Training Officer Communications Officer and … Regional Association coordinators other positions as needed to support you and … lots of dedicated volunteer experts and friends
What Can My Zoo Do? Commit to saving at least one species –build rescue center onsite, in area in need, preferably both –get your staff trained and involved Support and expand existing efforts – rescue programs, field surveys, regional programs, and local conservation projects Participate in the global public awareness and capital campaigns
Building expertise AZA Amphibian Biology & Management –3 years, >60 students –6 Latin American students (Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador) ABM Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Tanzania, … DWCT Amphibian Biodiversity Conservation
Building (up) facilities at home Antwerp, Atlanta, Auckland, Bristol, Cologne, Detroit, Houston, London, Melbourne, Omaha, Perth, San Antonio, Toledo who’s next?
Building facilities offsite Houston Zoo - El Nispero Zoo (Panama) Zoo Zurich - Cali Zoo (Colombia) St. Louis Zoo - Catolica University (Ecuador) Omaha Zoo - Johannesburg Zoo London/Chester/Jersey Zoos - Dominica Chester - standardized mobile biosecure facilities who’s next?
The P. Center consortium of zoos 18 institutions pledged $82/150K for operation 100% construction (~$650K) 50% operation (~$150k/yr) ex situ management, training, research
Financial Cost for the ‘average’ zoo (assumes 500 zoos) –save 1 species –$55,000 in year 1 Secure the AArk for a 10-year voyage build your programs at home and abroad –$35,000/year thereafter prevent the extinction of 500 species
Financial Cost for the ‘average’ zoo (assumes 500 zoos) –save 1 species –$55,000 in year 1 Secure the AArk for a 10-year voyage build your programs at home and abroad –$35,000/year thereafter prevent the extinction of 500 species Cheapest conservation you can buy!
Campaigns Participate in a global public awareness campaign – 2008: Year of the Frog –websites, graphics, education materials, media releases –Do your visitors know we are experiencing the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity? Participate in the global capital campaign –to support your own programs –to support the global coordination through AArk
Multi-level approach Big corporate or foundation sponsors –of global coordination and capacity building –of your local efforts Association-level campaigns and commitments and leadership Institution-level fund-raising, big and small Support from your institutions –to the globally coordinated efforts –for your programs
You are responding! Houston – spearheading El Valle project Atlanta – partnering with ABG to rescue species many – expanding capacity to save Panamanian species Omaha – building propagation facilities and assisting Johannesburg St Louis – assisting Catolica Univ in Quito Toledo and WCS – breeding the last Kihansi spray toads
You are responding! SeaWorld/AB – sponsoring training and national strategy workshops Brookfield – sponsoring the Amphibian PO Toledo – Wishing wells in shopping mall Columbus, Binder Park, Kansas City, Living Desert, Denver, San Francisco, Sedgwick, Rosamond Gifford, Cameron Park, Disney, Toronto, New Mexico BioPark, WCS, New England, Birmingham, and many others who have provided the critical funding to coordinate and facilitate the intiative
Don’t miss the boat! Propagation facilities (home and elsewhere) Training (own staff and others) Communicating Sponsoring Supporting core functions that support you Research, field surveys Partnering … Join the crowd!
Our role … Zoos and aquariums are unique among conservation organizations because of their ability to directly reach and inspire the visiting public to actively care about wildlife both in their backyard and across the globe. North America’s largest conservation movement!
Imagine … AZA members, working collectively will –Save all of North America’s frogs and salamanders that are threatened with extinction –Build the capacity and support the programs to help save the equally incredible diversity of our neighbor countries in Latin America –Be the most active and essential “keystone” partner in a global conservation movement –Stop the extinction of 100s of species!