The BBC News reported today that conservationists have launched a new initiative at the Zoological Society of London called the Amphibian Survival Alliance to safeguard the world’s amphibians from extinction. According to the article, the Alliance will be composed of amphibian experts from around the world, including specialists from the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). The group will coordinate existing projects, scientific research, and fund-raising.
Tackling the devastating chytrid fungus is the alliance’s first priority. Identified only a decade ago, the fungus now infects amphibians in the Americas, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The group will investigate anti-fungal drugs to combat the deadly disease and explore resistance to the disease in captive-bred populations and in the wild. Protecting amphibian habitats is the group’s next priority.
The alliance will also focus on these other important issues:
- unsustainable hunting for food, medicine, and the pet trade
- chemical pollution
- climate change
- introduced species
- other infectious disease
They hope to raise the profile of amphibians in 2010, which has been designated at the International Year of Biodiversity. Hmmm, perhaps we should tell them about FROGS ARE GREEN?
The organization does not yet have a website, but I will update this post when they are on the web.