Practical and effective amphibian conservation is urgently needed and nearly everywhere the effort is hugely inadequate. Guided by work on Key Biodiversity Areas and advice from the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), Synchronicity Earth is identifying regions where amphibians are most threatened and finding and supporting organisations to conserve them.
As we build relationships with partners we fund, we discover the challenges they face and the type of support they need in their amphibian conservation work. Where there is a need, we fund core costs, skills training and organisational development.
Our Amphibian Programme is helping to protect amphibians by:
Working with local stakeholders to support effective management of existing protected areas.
This could include, for example, working with indigenous people and local communities to protect amphibians on their lands; building the capacity of protected area management teams through increased staff and training, or supporting education and awareness-raising initiatives.
Supporting emerging organisations in tropical countries that are working to conserve amphibians by helping them to build capacity and expand their work.
Finding organisations committed to conserving amphibians in the wild in tropical countries is difficult, but some are now starting to emerge. Much of the work to conserve amphibians will be done at the site level. The strategies chosen to protect each site will vary depending on the local context.
Working with organisations that are investing in and testing novel disease-control and mitigation techniques at the site level to help amphibian populations recover.
Disease is a very serious threat for 19% of all amphibian species and for 35% of threatened species. When it becomes pathogenic, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis is the most likely threat to drive amphibians rapidly to extinction.
* Images (L to R): George Sunter; Molly Bletz; Wikimedia
Most amphibians have very small global ranges that often fall outside protected areas established for other species, making them especially vulnerable to extinction through habitat loss.
A Reserve For Endemic Life
Partner Profile: Fundación Jocotoco
Fundación Jocotoco, based in Ecuador, protects areas of critical importance for a range of endemic and threatened species.
Synchronicity Earth already supports Jocotoco’s work at their Tesoro Escondido reserve in the northwest of the country. This reserve is home to a number of highly threatened amphibian species, some of which have been severely impacted by disease. These include two species of Harlequin Toad, a Horned Marsupial Frog , and the Fringe-Limbed Treefrog. Staff at the reserve are currently working on a photographic ID guide to amphibians in the region which they plan to share with local schools and members of the community.
Working closely with an Ecuadorian amphibian conservation group called Tropical Herping, Jocotoco plans to expand its focus to include a currently unprotected area in El Oro in the southwest of the country where seven new amphibian species, which are likely to be highly threatened, have recently been discovered.