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Page history last edited by Ariadne Angulo 12 years, 6 months ago

Launch of the new online Amphibian Assessment Forum and new Amphibian Specialist Group website

Posted on October 12, 2011


The Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) website (http://www.amphibians.org/) has been recently updated to include new information, important and useful resources, and to comprise a medium whereby the different regional groups can showcase their work.


Kindly hosted by the ASG, the Amphibian Red List Authority’s new online amphibian assessment forum (http://www.amphibians.org/redlist/) was launched yesterday Tuesday October 11, 2011. The new forum aims to assist with the update of the IUCN Red List amphibian database, emphasizing primarily reassessments or new species assessments that derive from taxonomic splits from widespread taxa. While it has a limited number of assessments at this time, we envision that it will expand to encompass more regions and taxonomic groups as we work through reassessments in the coming weeks/months.


Please take a moment to visit both the new ASG web site and the new forum, and feel free to share these sites with your contacts, or to drop us a line with suggestions/comments that you may have.


We are indebted to James Lewis, Amphibian Specialist Group coordinator, Scott Loarie, Stanford University, and Derek Berezdivin, our forum intern, for reinventing the ASG web site and for making the amphibian conservation forum a reality. 



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2011 Wildlife Without Borders: Amphibians in Decline Program

Call for proposals

Posted on April 2, 2011

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a call for proposals for the 2011 Wildlife Without Borders: Amphibians in Decline Program to fund projects that conserve the world’s rapidly declining amphibian species. Proposals are due MAY 1, 2011.

The Notice for Funding Availability (NOFA) is available at the following link: http://www.fws.gov/international/DIC/pdf/nofa_ad11.pdf

Additional guidance and specific links for the various forms and requirements are listed below.

This program will support activities that address threats to frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians that face a very high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Species should meet the criteria to be listed as “Critically Endangered” or “Endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Species listed as “Data Deficient” on the IUCN Red List are also eligible if the applicant can provide information that suggests a similar urgency for conservation action. Species listed as “Extinct in Wild” are eligible if the applicant is proposing a reintroduction attempt.

The fund prioritizes conservation actions and field activities, not research.

The following species are NOT eligible for funding:

  • Species that do not meet the criteria to be listed on the IUCN Red List as, “Critically Endangered” or “Endangered;”
  • Species with natural habitat range located primarily within the United States, Canada, Europe, or Australia;
  • Non-amphibian species.

The USFWS Division of International Conservation administers the Wildlife Without Borders: Amphibians in Decline Program. The USFWS contact is Matt Muir. Please submit your completed application by email to fw9_wwb_ad@fws.gov. Specific questions about the program should also be sent to fw9_wwb_ad@fws.gov with the subject line: "AD question: [species, country]."


If possible, applications should be submitted by email, but the entire application must be sent as ONE FILE (a single doc or pdf containing all the required elements: signed cover page, text of the proposal, maps, budget, government letters of endorsement, etc). Brevity, spell-checking, and proof-reading are greatly appreciated. The Statement of Need should be three pages or less.

The file must be formatted for LETTER, not A4, and please include sequential PAGE NUMBERS on EVERY page.

Please submit your completed application by email to fw9_wwb_ad@fws.gov

After your application is received, you will receive an email to acknowledge receipt of the application and giving you a reference number (AD- for Amphibians in Decline).  Please refer to these reference numbers in all future communications.


USFWS Amphibians in Decline Program: http://www.fws.gov/international/dic/global/amphibians.html
USFWS Amphibians in Decline Program: Application Instructions (Notice of Funding Availability, or Request for Proposals): http://www.fws.gov/international/DIC/pdf/nofa_ad11.pdf
Conservation Fund application cover page (all funds): http://www.fws.gov/international/DIC/pdf/3-2338A.pdf
Example timetable: http://www.fws.gov/international/dicprograms/sampletimetable.pdf
Example budget: http://www.fws.gov/international/dicprograms/samplebudget.pdf


To obtain a DUNS number: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/index.jsp

To register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database:
        US registrants go to: http://www.ccr.gov (click on “What You Need to Register”)
        FOREIGN registrants go to: https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/international.aspx


SF424 Application for Federal Assistance: http://www.fws.gov/international/dicprograms/sf424.pdf
SF424b Non-construction Assurances: http://www.fws.gov/international/dicprograms/sf424b.pdf



New book! Ensuring a Future for South Africa's Frogs



We would like to congratulate our very own John Measey and colleagues for the recently released book "Ensuring a Future for South Africa's Frogs". This book constitutes a research strategy for amphibian conservation in South Africa, and has the potential to become a model for other countries and regions of the world. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is proud to announce the publication of this book, which is available for free download from the SANBI website (www.sanbi.org.za; and see below for immediate download from the Amphibian RLA wiki site).


Please see below for a quick introduction to the book by John himself:


Updating the IUCN Red List status of South African amphibians

John Measey1

1Amphibian RLA, Applied Biodiversity Research Division, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Claremont 7735, Cape Town, South Africa


Five years after the publication of the South African Frog Atlas (Minter et al, 2004) which coincided with the end of the Global Amphibian Assessment (Stuart et al, 2004), it was time to re-assess South Africa’s 118 species of anuran amphibians. The very solid foundation laid by the former Red List was essential to produce the update, and with it an opportunity to look back over the last five years of amphibian research and decide what we need to know for before the next assessment is due. What has emerged is not only an updated Red List, but also a policy document that will guide researchers, policy makers and conservationists to prioritise research on threatened amphibians for the next five years. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is proud to announce the publication of this book which is available for free download from the SANBI website (details below).


Assessments of all species took place from September 2009 and were finalised in a workshop at SANBI on 2 December 2009, when the South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) was formed. Prior to the workshop, taxonomic leaders were charged with investigating all South Africa’s amphibian taxa to assess all data gathered since the 2004 assessments. Only those considered to be threatened (CR, EN or VU), Data Deficient (DD) or species which had previously been listed as threatened were discussed at the workshop, all others having already been considered by leaders as continuing to be of Least Concern (LC).


For all 35 species reassessed during the workshop, sufficient data were available to make global assessments. Only 13 were deemed to hold the same status as in the 2004 assessment. All 7 species classified as Data Deficient (DD) in 2004 had sufficient data obtained to make full assessments. Of the threatened species, 8 were downlisted (2 CR to EN, 1 EN to VU, 2 VU to LC and 3 VU to NT) while 3 were uplisted (2 EN to CR and 1 VU to EN). Full details of all threatened amphibian species in South Africa (assessed by SA-FRoG & IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group) are detailed in an appendix of the book (Measey, 2011) as well as on the IUCN Red List website (www.iucnredlist.org).


A second two day workshop followed the Red Listing, attended by a forum of the region’s amphibian scientists. The aim was prioritise research by producing a list of clear actions and responsible agencies together with a time frame for the research required. Four sessions discussed priorities for threatened species in the following areas, which are also the chapter titles in the resulting book:

  • Understanding and Documenting Species Diversity
  • Conservation and Ecological Studies
  • Assessing Status and Trends  
  • Education, Awareness and Capacity Building


Despite a history including some of the world’s best herpetologists, South Africa still has new frogs to describe, and these require a combined approach including molecular studies in conjunction with morphological and call analysis. Priorities include undescribed species of Anhydrophryne, Capensibufo, Microbatrachella, Poyntonophrynus and Xenopus. Timely descriptions are important as each new species is likely to have an increased threat status, also requiring reassessments of other species within the genus.


Priorities for conservation and monitoring include the (now) Critically Endangered Vandijkophrynus amatolicus, last seen in September 1998 and the subject of a co-ordinated effort to find them again (see CI’s The Search for Lost Frogs). In general, most species continue to be assessed on their distribution data (Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy) and a priority to collect population data and set up long-term monitoring programmes for several threatened species was identified. 


The list of priorities for conservation research is particularly long and this caused a lot of concern as there is not sufficient capacity or locally available funding to conduct the work that is required. Including museums, universities, research institutes and provincial nature conservation organisations, South Africa has a total of 14 amphibian researchers, most of whom also work on reptiles and other small vertebrates. This capacity needs to grow in order to meet the increasing threats to the country’s frogs.


The reassessment and research strategy represents an important step for the conservation of amphibians in South Africa, and a model approach for other areas of the globe. The fulfilment of the targets presented is ambitious given the small capacity and lack of local funds, but would represent a significant step to redress the loss of the region’s amazing amphibian biodiversity.



SA-FRoG is made up of Marius Burger, Alan Channing, Michael Cunningham, Sarah Davies, James Harvey, John Measey, Les Minter, Louis du Preez, Jeanne Tarrant, Krystal Tolley, Andrew Turner and Atherton de Villiers. Assessments were facilitated by Ariadne Angulo and the Amphibian RLA. I would particularly like to thank the SANBI publications department for their work on the book, and Tilla Raimondo from SANBI’s Threatened Species Programme who obtained funding for the workshops and resulting publication from NORAD.



Measey, G.J. (ed.) 2011. Ensuring a future for South Africa’s frogs: a strategy for conservation research on South African amphibians. Biodiversity series 19. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 95pp


Minter, L. R., Burger, M., Harrison, J. A., Braack, H. H., Bishop, P. J. & Knoepfer, D. (eds.) (2004) Atlas and Red Data Book of the Frogs of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. SI/MAB Series No. 9 Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.


Stuart, S. N., Chanson, J. S., Cox, N. A., Young, B. E., Rodrigues, A. S. L., Fischman, D. L. & Waller, R. W. (2004) Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science, 306, 1783-1786.


Congrats John and SA-FRoG!


For a freely available pdf copy of the book, please click on the link below:


Ensuring a future for SA frogs SANBI Biodiversity Series no 19.pdf



Red List Updates


Version 2010.4 of the Red List was published on October 27, 2010. The amphibian update of this version included a combination of African, Asian and South American amphibian species assessments, in addition to some updates to higher level taxonomy. Thanks are due to John Measey and the South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG) for South African amphibian assessments, and to RLA members who acted as evaluators/reviewers for these and other assessments.


Version 2010.3 of the Red List was published on September 2, 2010, and the amphibian update of this version is primarily on South African amphibian assessments, an effort which was spearheaded by John Measey (see RLA membership for info on John) and his colleagues. We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to John and the South African Frog Re-assessment Group (SA-FRoG), and also to the RLAs that acted as evaluators for these assessments. Version 2010.4 of the Red List will be published in October 2010 and we will update this section when it goes live. We still do not have any firm dates for the 2011 releases; however, once we do they will be posted in this space.


RLA Updates


As from July 2010, August 2010, and June 2011, we have had three researchers working with us as part-time RLAs, Aina Pascual Cuadras, Corey Roelke and Derek Berezdivin, respectively. Corey and Derek have both concluded their part-time RLA functions and we wish to thank them for all of their help in updating the IUCN Red List amphibian database and in developing our online amphibian assessment forum. Aina continues to assist us in updating the IUCN amphibian database until November 2011. To find out more about Aina, Corey and Derek please click on RLA membership.



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