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© Marcio Borges Martins

Stories from our partners around the world

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Instituto Curicaca’s progress on amphibian conservation How are we contributing to global amphibian conservation? The South American Redbelly Toad (Melanophryniscus admirabilis) has been receiving continuous attention in conservation research and efforts conducted by Instituto Curicaca and partners. Together with key partners in government and academic institutions we stopped the construction of a hydroelectric station in the Forqueta River (located in the

state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), because that would have probably led to the extinction of the Redbelly Toad. Now we are trying to better understand the risks to the population, to create a Conservation Unit for the toad, and to cooperate with local residents in developing sustainable economies that reduce threats. In 2018 we will conclude a Rapid Ecological Evaluation with the sup-

port of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Fundação Zoobotânica and Fundação Grupo Boticário. This evaluation will help assess the biological importance of the Forqueta river region and help define the best suited type of protected area for the site. Another species that we have focused on and is listed by IUCN as Near Threatened (NT) at the global

level is the Argentina Horned-Frog (Ceratophrys ornata), nicknamed the giant-from-pampas. This species is considered to be Vulnerable at the national level in Uruguay and Argentina, while in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) itis listed as Critically Endangered at the state level. An international research team is proposing the realization of local conservation plans and an integrated plan among the three countries. Fundraising efforts are being undertaken as a means to improve management and communication about the species’ importance and threats to its survival on the Pampa Biome. Our work includes other Brazilian threatened species and their respective habitats. Last year, we renewed our participation in the technical support group of the National Action Plan for the Conservation of South Brazil’s Herpetofauna, conducted by the Chico Mendes Institute for

Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) National Center for Reptile and Amphibian Research and Conservation. In the plan, we link actions directed to the creation and implentation of Protected Areas, and the elaboration and improvement of ecological management tools, which affect the targeted species’ habitats. There are two public policy initiatives that deserve attention. In 2017 we were able to start monitoring surveys of amphibian roadkill on the Sun Route. This Road crosses one of the most important amphibian Conservation Units of south Brazil, the Mata Paludosa State Biological Reserve, a problem that we denounced a couple of years ago to the Public Ministry. The survey results will help identify solutions to reduce amphibian mortality. Also, in the last year we managed to avoid the proposal of Melanophryniscus species for inclusion in The Convention on

International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), given that this could further highlight interest in this genus from the illegal trade. Just like ASA and the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) cooperate to create effective conservation action, Instituto Curicaca uses a national and international strategy grounded on science to implement concrete conservation actions. Through Instituto Curicaca’s involvement in amphibian conservation partners such as the UFRGS Herpetology Laboratory and UFRGS Bioscience Institute have a greater opportunity to convert science into public policy. By the same token, our strategies are strengthened by the academic community. In 2017 these partnerships were amplified, and new opportunities are currently emerging.

Save Amphibians, Join the #AmphibiousAF Family and endangered amphibians. You can also give the gift of a membership in someone else’s name. Don’t want to be a member? Not a problem. Even a small one-time donation will help educate people, and feed, care for, and protect amphibians and reptiles. We’ve received steadfast support from the amphibian community across the globe, and we couldn’t do our work without you. We appreciate your support.

The Amphibian Foundation needs your help to save amphibians! Established in 2016, the Atlantabased nonprofit collaborates with partners in the fight against amphibian extinction. But we can’t do it alone. Join the fight through our new membership plan, and help us achieve our mission: members.

We lead one-of-a-kind conservation research programs to address threats in the southeastern U.S. and across the globe. The new annual membership plan will provide much needed resources to support these initiatives. In return, you’ll receive benefits, like a t-shirt and swag, and play a direct role in protecting rare

Amphibians need our help, and we’re rising to the call! Join us! Spread the word!

© M. Abadie

In this edition of the Frogress Report we have news that span communications, the publication of guidelines for businesses and KBAs, partner membership development and amphibian conservation work in southern Brazil, as well as recent developments on ASA governance. On the communications front, the publication of a set of five freely available ebooks for children focusing on introducing amphibians and raising awareness is bound to become a key resource for educators. In a similar vein, the publication of a freely available ebook focusing

on amphibian photography techniques and using engaging imagery to tell compelling stories about amphibian conservation is also likely to become a go-to resource in the amphibian conservation community. The recent publication of guidelines on business and KBAs offers a roadmap for businesses that operate in and/or impact some of the most biologically significant places on earth, offering concrete recommendations that businesses can take to manage their impact on places that are critical for species and ecosystem conservation, including amphibians. A new membership plan seeks to help advance amphibian conservation initiatives in the southeastern United States and more broadly. Amphibian conservation in southern Brazil benefits enormously from an ongoing collaboration

between NGO, government and the scientific community: the intersection of and targeted cross-pollination between science, conservation action and policy has reaped incredible conservation gains, including that of the flagship South American Redbelly Toad, formerly threatened by dam development. Lastly, you may remember that in the previous edition of the Frogress Report we mentioned that we were working on updating ASA governance documents. We are pleased to announce that the new ASA Bylaws have now been finalized and approved by Global Council and will be sent shortly to all ASA partners for partnership approval. We are keen to get in touch with ASA partners in the near future as we begin a new chapter in ASA’s life. Ariadne Angulo, PhD Interim Executive Director Amphibian Survival Allianc

New children’s books by Amphibian Ark The Unite for Literacy team works with its partners to develop a wide range of free, online children’s books, narrated in multiple languages, to celebrate language, culture and a love of reading. These short books feature wonderful images, and short pieces of text on each page, and along with the narration, help children and their families who are learning to speak English, or other languages.

Amphibian Ark’s Community Education Officer, Rachel RommelCrump, developed the text for five books about amphibians, which are beautifully illustrated with photos from our photo competition, and others which have been generously supplied by some of our partners. The first five books can be found on AArk’s “bookshelf” on the Unite for Literacy page, The new books are: Amazing Amphibians – Introduces these amazing animals, providing some basic biological information, and encouraging readers to “Bring a map as you explore your neighbourhood and mark the places where amphibians might live.”

Fantastic Frogs – Shares information about frogs from different countries, and different breeding strategies, suggesting that you can “Visit a pond and look for tadpoles swimming close to the edge, or frogs sitting in the water.” Super Salamanders – Explains where salamanders live and how they can regrow damaged limbs and recommending that you “Learn the name of a salamander or frog that lives near you.”

Secret Caecilians – Introduces these lesser-known amphibians and suggests that children can “Lie on your stomach, put your arms against your body, and try to move like a caecilian.” Amphibian Heroes – Talks about the threats facing amphibians, and how amphibian heroes in Madagascar, Argentina, Japan and the US are helping to save them. It also recommends that you “Join an effort to protect wildlife habitat in your community, or start one with your friends.”

These books include English narration, and Spanish will be available soon. We hope you enjoy them! Special thanks to Amphibian Ark’s Anne Baker, Luis Carrillo and Kevin Johnson who provided creative and editorial support throughout project. Thanks to Paul Crump and Joe Mendelson for reviewing the final books and providing helpful comments. Also, thanks to Andy Gluesenkamp and Tariq Stark for confirming factual information about some specific species.

We would not have had such engaging photographs to share with children if it wasn’t for the generosity of Todd Pierson, Dave Huth, Candace Hansen-Hendrikx, Arturo Muñoz, Ben Tapley, Paul Crump, Brian Gratwicke, Norhayati Ahmad, Federico Kacoliris, Melina Velasco, Aiko Taguchi, Devin Edmonds, Cassidy Johnson, Wikicommons contributors, and the AArk calendar contest photo entry participants. Finally, thanks to Unite for Literacy staff member Holly Hartman for her expertise, and who made creating the books such a fun and easy process.

“Photographing Frogs and Other Amphibians” Ebook portray frogs in their true form - as wonderfully endearing, charismatic animals who deserve our full attention to ensure they do not disappear in the near future.” Phil Bishop, CoChair, IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and Chief Scientist, Amphibian Survival Alliance

Designed for researchers and conservationists working with amphibians, the “Photographing Frogs and Other Amphibians” ebook by Robin Hoskyns, aims to provide an overview of techniques that can be used to create engaging images and demonstrate how these images can be utilized to tell the stories of amphibians and amphibian conservation. “When most people think of charismatic animals, frogs are not usually the first ones that come to mind. This lack of general appeal

can often have negative results when decisions are being made about their conservation. Robin’s ebook is a fantastic “How to get the best photograph!” guide which will enable people who encounter frogs to portray them in an engaging and professional way. Not only is this book incredibly useful for people wanting to get better shots of frogs, but also for people who are interested in photographing wildlife. Frogs are very good subjects for nature and macro photography, and this ebook will ensure that people can

“The Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) and the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) are proud to launch the “Photographing Frogs and Other Amphibians” ebook. Exquisitely illustrated and with practical advice on amphibian and habitat photography offered in an accessible and easy to understand format, Photographing Frogs is a guide that is bound to become a go-to source for using compelling photography for amphibian conservation. We encourage everyone to download this freely accessible resource to help inform and build their amphibian photography and visual story-telling skills.” Ariadne Angulo, Co-Chair, IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and Interim Executive Director, Amphibian Survival Alliance Download your free copy HERE, or read it in the Amphibian Survival Alliance’s online reader HERE.

Business in Key Biodiversity Areas: Minimizing the risk to nature

© B. Barov/BirdLife

Partners. Its aim is to assist governments in authorization decisions related to business operations.

The Key Biodiversity Area Partnership involving 12 of the world’s leading conservation organizations, including the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), and ASA Partner Global Wildlife Conservation, issued a roadmap for businesses operating in, or impacting, some of the most biologically significant places on the planet. The report, Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity, outlines steps that

businesses can take to actively safeguard biodiversity and avoid contributing to its loss. It recommends businesses of all sizes and across all sectors adopt 15 guidelines to better manage their direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on places deemed critical for the conservation of species and ecosystems worldwide, known as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). It addresses issues such as avoidance of impacts, limits to biodiversity offsets, as well as financial guarantees and corporate reporting. It guides businesses in managing the potential losses and other risks associated with their negative impact on biodiversity, including potential impacts on access to financing and increased company

exposure to negative press. “KBAs play a vital and global role in the overall health of our planet, so businesses need to take extra caution when planning or undertaking commercial activities in or near these sites and some activities should be avoided altogether,” said Penny Langhammer, director of Key Biodiversity Areas and Species Assessment for Global Wildlife Conservation. “This roadmap provides concrete steps that companies, financial institutions and governments can take to ensure that their business activities maintain the species and habitats for which these sites are so important.” The report and associated website aims to help businesses demonstrate good environmental practice and compliance with voluntary sustainability standards or certification schemes. It also explains how companies operating in KBAs can make a positive contribution to biodiversity by investing in conservation actions and sharing relevant information about the KBAs, including data collected in Environmental Impact Assessments, baseline studies and monitoring activities, with the KBA

“These new guidelines will help businesses protect the most important natural places on our planet, and so preserve the natural resources they so strongly depend on,” said Inger Andersen, IUCN director general. “By managing their impacts on nature, businesses deliver positive conservation results, helping address the escalating crisis of biodiversity loss.” Following the adoption in 2016 of a global standard for the identification of KBAs, the KBA Partnership was created to map, monitor and conserve the areas. More than 15,000 KBAs have been identified so far, many of which currently support commercial activities, such as farming, fisheries, forestry and mining. Although the global KBA network does not yet cover all geographical regions or species groups, the KBA Partnership is working to fill these gaps. “The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is proud to support IUCN in this important effort to protect some of the world’s most biologically rich and diverse places,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chairman and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, which funded the project. “These guidelines provide an important roadmap for businesses committed to advancing the long-term preservation and stewardship of the Earth’s natural resources, which all of society depends on.”

Frogress Report, April 2018  

This newsletter brings together updates from across the Amphibian Survival Alliance to continue to develop a strong alliance, and to celebra...

Frogress Report, April 2018  

This newsletter brings together updates from across the Amphibian Survival Alliance to continue to develop a strong alliance, and to celebra...