Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts Develop Global Action Plan To Save Amphibians Facing Extinction

Date:
September 21, 2005
Source:
Conservation International
Summary:
A summit of leading scientists have agreed to an action plan intended to save hundreds of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians facing extinction from familiar threats such as pollution and habitat destruction, as well as a little-known fungus wiping out their populations.

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 20, 2005) -- A summit of leading scientists haveagreed to an action plan intended to save hundreds of frogs,salamanders and other amphibians facing extinction from familiarthreats such as pollution and habitat destruction, as well as alittle-known fungus wiping out their populations.

The Amphibian Conservation Summit held Sept. 17-19 concluded withproposals for a series of actions, including emergency responses tosave species under the greatest threat. More than 60 specialistsconvened by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN-The WorldConservation Union drafted the seven-page Amphibian Conservation ActionPlan declaration.

It responds to findings in last year's Global AmphibianAssessment (GAA) that almost a third of the world's amphibians are inserious trouble, with dramatic declines since the 1980s signaling oneof the worst extinction crises of our time.

"We still have time to save these threatened species ifappropriate conservation action is taken now," said Claude Gascon,chairman of the IUCN Global Amphibian Specialist Group and seniorvice-president of Conservation International (CI). "This is kind of aNoah's Ark situation for amphibians, particularly because of thefungus. It is so deadly where it occurs, there really is no hope ofsaving a lot of these species if we leave them in the wild."

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 1,856 ofthe 5,743 known amphibian species -- almost one in three -- arethreatened with extinction. By comparison, one in eight birds face asimilar level of threat, and one in four mammals.

The reasons are varied and all relate to the impact of humanson Earth -- habitat loss, pollution, over-harvesting of species, andclimate change. They often act in combination to exacerbate thedeclines.

In addition, a new and serious threat is a chytrid fungaldisease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that kills amphibians byattacking their sensitive skins. The little known pathogen was firstidentified six years ago and so far cannot be controlled in the wild.

The action plan adopted at the summit addresses the key issuesaffecting the world's amphibians, and is divided into four keystrategies:

  • Understanding the causes of declines and extinctions
  • Documenting amphibian diversity and how it is changing
  • Developing and implementing long-term conservation programs
  • Delivering emergency responses to crises

    "As a short-term response to prevent extinctions, the establishmentof captive assurance colonies for the 200 or so most threatened speciesappears to be a promising option," said Simon Stuart, senior directorof the IUCN/Biodiversity Assessment Unit and leader of the GAAresearch. ''The good news is that the fungal disease can be eliminatedfrom captive colonies."

    Captive breeding has been used successfully to conserve otherspecies, such as the Hawaiian goose and Mallorcan midwife toad. Theaction plan proposes a major expansion of such programs in countrieswhere species are the most threatened by the disease.

    The plan also calls for research into the control andelimination of the fungal disease in the wild, as well as greaterhabitat protection, to maintain or re-establish viable wild amphibianpopulations in the future.

    "Habitat destruction still remains the main threat toamphibians worldwide, and habitat conservation must continue as apriority" said Jim Collins, chair of the Declining Amphibian PopulationTask Force. "Amphibians often occur in relatively small areas and aremore susceptible to extinction due to habitat loss or degradation thanmost other vertebrates."

    The sharp decline in amphibian populations could be ominous forall life on the planet. Because they live on land and in water, andtheir porous skins absorb oxygen and water, amphibians could be thefirst group to feel the effects of environmental changes frompollution, climate change and other causes.

    ###

    Global Amphibian Assessment www.globalamphibians.org


  • Story Source:

    The above story is based on materials provided by Conservation International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


    Cite This Page:

    Conservation International. "Experts Develop Global Action Plan To Save Amphibians Facing Extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921075150.htm>.
    Conservation International. (2005, September 21). Experts Develop Global Action Plan To Save Amphibians Facing Extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921075150.htm
    Conservation International. "Experts Develop Global Action Plan To Save Amphibians Facing Extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921075150.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

    Share This




    More Plants & Animals News

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Featured Research

    from universities, journals, and other organizations


    Featured Videos

    from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

    Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

    Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

    AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

    Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

    Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

    Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

    AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
    Powered by NewsLook.com
    Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

    Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

    Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
    Powered by NewsLook.com

    Search ScienceDaily

    Number of stories in archives: 140,361

    Find with keyword(s):
    Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Breaking News:
    from the past week

    In Other News

    ... from NewsDaily.com

    Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins