Draft for Open Consultation. The Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP): A status review and roadmap for global amphibian conservation.

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Amphibian Specialist Group IUCN SSC


As the most threatened vertebrate class on earth, amphibians are at the forefront of the biodiversity crisis, with the start of global amphibian declines and extinctions dating back several decades now. The Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP), the first taxonomic class-level plan of its kind, was first published in 2007 and then updated as a digital resource in 2015, with the goal of acting as a unified global strategy to save amphibians. However, although there have been resources allocated to amphibian conservation since the first ACAP, these have not been of the order of magnitude needed to adequately address the global amphibian crisis.

In an effort to help improve this situation the current ACAP is adopting a different strategy: the development of two complementary documents that work to 1) synthesise developments in major themes of amphibian conservation over the last 15 years (an academic status review – this document), and 2) summarise the key take-home messages and recommendations to a broader audience in a user-friendly way (a practitioner document that will follow the status review). The purpose is thus to provide the most up-to-date evidence on threats and approaches to amphibian conservation, and from there identify gaps and priorities that can then be disseminated and adopted by stakeholders across the globe.

Each chapter of this status review was developed by the matching Amphibian Specialist Group’s (ASG) thematic working groups. Led by 1-3 working group chairs and supported by working group members, chapters have also had the input of professionals outside of ASG with expertise in given themes.

This document consists of two introductory chapters and twelve thematic chapters divided into three sections:
• Threats - Chapters 3-7 on climate change; ecotoxicology; habitat loss; infectious diseases; and trade and sustainable use
• Informing decision-making - Chapters 8-10 on communications and education; conservation planning; and surveys and monitoring
• Species management - Chapters 11-14 on conservation breeding; assisted reproductive technologies and biobanking; genomics; and translocations

In broad terms, each chapter covers the most important knowledge, technological and conceptual developments in a particular theme over the last decade and a half, highlighting knowledge gaps, challenges, needs and opportunities for future conservation action.

Key messages
1. As a whole there is an enormous deficit in information for most amphibian species, which hampers decision-making and evidence-based, conservation action. Increased collaborations both within and outside the amphibian conservation community are urgently needed to begin to bridge some of these information gaps. Integrating different approaches can help augment information and leverage additional support to amphibian conservation.
2. While this document is global in scope it is informed by local and regional realities. Not everything that is in this document will be transferable to every region. However, those aspects that are relevant to a region can be addressed accordingly, and these results can then feedback again into a global strategy, and be readapted in other regions to benefit from the shared experience. Translation from local to global and back to local is crucial to ensure that regional experiences feed into a global framework and that this framework accurately reflects shared patterns and realities so that it can inform international conventions and organisations, especially in view of global environmental change.
3. Relative to the scope of amphibian declines and extinctions, adequate financial and human resources and necessary policy measures have largely lagged behind this decades-long crisis. Should this pattern persist, we can expect to continue losing amphibian populations and species in increasingly large numbers. It is therefore critical that amphibian conservation becomes both an integral and a conspicuous part of the biodiversity conservation agenda of international and national conservation organisations of all sizes, of national and subnational levels of government, of the various institutions that focus on biodiversity education and research, of funding entities, and of organised communities and media.




Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Life Sciences, Other Animal Sciences



Published: 2022-07-18 02:29


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