Second Global Amphibian Assessment finds two of five species threatened with extinction
The second Global Amphibian Assessment, reported this month in the journal Nature, has found that 40.7% of amphibians are globally threatened, compared to 39.4% in 2004 when the first landmark Global Amphibian Assessment was published for the IUCN Red List of threatened species. Through the assessment, more than a decade of research on amphibians by over 1,000 experts was used to assess the extinction risk of 8,011 species worldwide. Amphibians continue to be the most threatened class of vertebrates (separate assessments found that 33% of mammals, 26.5% of reptiles and 16% of birds are threatened),
Disease and habitat loss drove 91% of status deteriorations between 1980 and 2004. Since then, climate change effects has emerged as a top concern, driving 39% of status deteriorations since 2004, followed by habitat loss (37%). Disease caused by fungal pathogens, considered responsible for several known amphibian extinctions, remain an important threat,
The study reinforces the importance of implementing evidence-based conservation strategies to halt the ongoing amphibian extinction crisis and to protect and maintain the biodiversity and ecological processes of ecosystems globally.
Amphibians are the prime focus of several ICFC projects, including our work in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of (Colombia), where ICFC partners with Fundación Atelopus to conserve Harlequin toads (Atelopus genus), the most threatened group of amphibians in the world. Support from ICFC has also led to the creation of two reserves in Guatemala (i.e., the 1,901-ha Sierra Caral Cloud Forest Reserve and the 845-ha Yal Unin Yul Witz Reserve) to protect globally threatened amphibians in critical areas of the country. Finally, amphibians also benefit from our work in protecting landscape-scale reserves such as the Kayapo Indigenous Territories in Brazil and Peru’s Los Amigos Conservation Concession.
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