Leaping to the Rescue: Million Dollar Fund for Frogs

As a proud partner of the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation, we are thrilled to announce a bold new step in the quest to save amphibians. Together with Rainforest Trust, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, the ASA have announced a million dollar fund – called the Leapfrog Conservation Fund – to strategically protect and manage key habitats for frogs, salamanders, caecilians and many other species over the coming year. This fund builds on previous conservation successes such as preserving the Sierra Caral of Guatemala.

“Habitat loss is the single biggest threat to the survival of amphibians worldwide” said Don Church, Executive Director of the ASA, adding “this million dollar fund represents a landmark in the battle to stem the alarming loss of frogs, salamanders and caecilians. We hope that it will encourage others to step forward and make a commitment to protecting amphibians and habitats.” Dr Paul Salaman, CEO of Rainforest Trust, said “amphibians represent an opportunity to stem biodiversity loss through relatively modest investments. We can literally save entire species through strategic habitat protection. We are thrilled to be able to make this commitment to protecting the most threatened vertebrate group in priority sites worldwide.”

Amphibians are at the forefront of what is being widely referred to as the sixth mass extinction event on earth. Around a half of over 7,000 amphibian species are in decline, a third are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened species, and more than 120 species are thought to have been lost in recent years. Disease and climate change have been implicated in the sudden and rapid disappearance of species from South, Central and North America, Europe and Australia – but the primary threat to the survival of many amphibian species is the rampant loss and degradation of habitats, such as rainforests. In the tropics, where the entire range of a species may be as small as a single stream, amphibians often fall through the cracks in protected area coverage and a recent study revealed that 940 amphibian species worldwide occur in unprotected habitat.

The Leapfrog Conservation Fund will strategically and collaboratively target the most threatened habitats for protection. “Partnerships are the key to success” said Robin Moore, Conservation Officer with the ASA, Rainforest Trust and Global Wildlife Conservation, “we all have a stake in the future of our environment, and what is truly exciting about the Leapfrog Conservation Fund is that it represents an opportunity for unique collaborations to achieve a common goal – saving amphibians and the habitats upon which we all depend.”

To find out how to apply for funding or support projects through the Leapfrog Conservation Fund, please visit the Fund’s webpage or contact Robin Moore at rdmoore@amphibians.org

Photo: A new species of ruby-eyed toad in the Choco rainforests, Colombia. © Robin Moore

For media inquiries regarding this release please contact Candace M Hansen at cmhansen@amphibians.org