12 17/12/2013

Leaping to the Rescue: Million Dollar Fund for Frogs

As a founding 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.

Guatamala Brook Frog (c) Robin Moore

Guatemala brook frog, Duellmanohyla soralia, from the Sierra Caral of Guatemala. © Robin Moore

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.”

Ruby-eyed Toad (c) Robin Moore

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

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

Rain frog (c) Robin Moore

A new species of rain frog from the Massif de la Hotte in Haiti, one of the highest priorities for species conservation in the world. © Robin Moore


Further information

Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA)
The Amphibian Survival Alliance is the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation, formed in response to the decline of frogs, salamanders and caecilians worldwide. Without immediate and coordinated action we stand to lose half of some 7,000 species of amphibians in our lifetimes. The ASA draws on cutting-edge research to protect amphibians and key habitats worldwide, in addition to educating and inspiring the global community to become a part of the amphibian conservation movement.


Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Trust, formerly World Land Trust-US, is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving rainforest and endangered species. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved more than 7 million acres of rainforest and other tropical habitats in 67 projects across 17 tropical countries. The nonprofit purchases and protects threatened land by forming partnerships with local conservation organizations and engaging indigenous communities. Rainforest Trust has been awarded the top four-star Charity Navigator rating for each of the last five years.


Global Wildlife Conservation
Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit conservation organization whose mission is to protect endangered species and habitats through science-based field action. GWC conserves the world’s most endangered species and their habitats through exploration, research, and conservation. By maximizing effectiveness through collaboration, GWC unites with the world’s leading conservation organizations, universities, zoological and botanical organizations, and museums.