Amphibians are in the midst of an extinction crisis. According to the Global Amphibian Assessment, nearly one-third of all amphibian species are endangered or threatened, making amphibians the most endangered group of animals in the world.
Some of the factors contributing to amphibian declines include climate change, diseases (most notably chytrid fungus), as well as habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, and overharvesting for domestic and international trade.
What Defenders Is Doing to Help Amphibians
In July 2011, Defenders of Wildlife, Pro Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute issued a report titled Canapés to Extinction: The International Trade in Frogs’ Legs and its Ecological Impact. The report is the first comprehensive study of the frog leg market ever conducted and reveals an industry rife with serious environmental consequences.
At the 26th CITES Animals Committee meeting, which took place in Geneva in March 2012, Defenders together with other NGOs delivered a presentation about the serious impact of the international amphibian trade on biodiversity and ecology. Furthermore, our participation in CITES meetings are an opportunity to strongly encourage governments to recognize the seriousness of the decline in amphibians worldwide, to understand the role of international trade in those declines and to work with the scientific community and others to seek protections for particularly imperiled species.
Defenders is also a partner in the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation (PARC) Project, which is working to rescue 20 species of frogs throughout Panama that are directly in the path of chytrid fungus and keep them safe until they can be once again be returned to the wild.