Our training mission
Amphibians brought into captivity must have a purpose and must receive the highest standards of care. Our mission for Amphibian Ark husbandry training programs is to provide range-country personnel with the tools and expertise to offer the best care to amphibians under their stewardship and to enable the planning and implementation of successful captive conservation programs that, where appropriate, end with amphibians back in nature.
Our training staff
The Amphibian Ark instructor team consists of experienced professionals from the zoo, academic and private communities. We utilize qualified local and regional instructors working in their native languages as much as possible. All instructors make their services available at no cost to Amphibian Ark or course participants. We are grateful for their valuable contributions to helping further amphibian conservation through their roles as instructors and mentors.
Luis Carrillo, DVM, Training Officer Amphibian Ark
Amphibian Ark Associate Veterinarians:
Brad Wilson, DVM
Allan Pessier, DVM
Sam Rivera, DVM Zoo Atlanta, USA
Kevin Wright, DVM
Eric Baitchman, DVM
Amphibian Ark Husbandry Instructors:
Joseph Mendelson. Ph.D.
Jennifer Pramuk, Ph.D.
Amphibian Ark Population Management Instructors:
European Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Our training courses What are the goals of our courses? To create, expand and nurture local, long-lasting and useful ex situ conservation action within the country or range of focal amphibian species. Objectives
- To provide technical skills necessary for long-term management of ex situ populations of amphibians, from species selection to reintroductions with a focus on husbandry, health, biosecurity and population management.
- To build networking capacity for practitioners in range countries/area/regions to better work together in taking charge of the conservation of their local species.
- To stimulate interest in amphibian conservation in the region.
- To provide guidance on developing regional conservation plans and strategies for collaboration with in situ conservation practitioners and municipal partners in the region.
- To provide the most useful set of skills and resources to motivate participants to plan future workshops in their region.
- To assist participants in finding resources for designing, funding and implementing conservation programs in their region.
Our courses are assembled on a case-by-case basis, designed to provide the necessary skills delivered at the right level for participants. We are guided by pre-workshop surveys and also by close collaboration with local organizers to provide these services and make the courses as useful as possible.
1. The Basics: keeping them alive
– Biology and diversity
2. Reproduction: getting them to breed
– Reproductive modes
3. Population Management: controlled breeding
– Genetics and demography
4. Veterinary Aspects: keeping them healthy
5. Conservation: why we are doing this
– Threats and global action
Hands on demonstrations, practical and group exercises include:
– Water quality assessments
Subjects Population management training courses
- Basic and basis of population management
- Record keeping
- Input data guidelines
- SPARKS/PopLink software
- PMx software
Subjects Veterinary care for amphibians training courses
- Translating amphibian husbandry into healthy amphibian collections
- Examination and clinical techniques
- Diet, feeding and nutrition
- Non-infectious disease and nutritional issues
- Infectious diseases, common clinical problems and clinical syndromes
- Biosecurity and Quarantine
- Water quality and its implication on amphibian health
- Necropsy techniques
Are you considering an amphibian husbandry workshop?
Consider this: Workshops demand a great deal of time and resources to plan and execute. It is important to clearly identify the goals and objectives prior to planning, fundraising and execution. The following questions will help guide you in planning an amphibian conservation workshop. Is there a need for amphibian conservation training in the region and why? Are there species in imminent danger of extinction or otherwise assessed by field experts for ex situ actions including breeding, research, supplementation or mass production. Who are the participants/stakeholders? Are they willing and available to participate? Will the participants be able to put this training to practical use in the time frame needed to be effective? Do funding and other requisite resources exist to initiate new captive programs after the training? Is there a central location to hold this workshop? Are the following facilities available for at least a 5-day time span?
- Lecture Room
- Basic laboratory or other area with access to water and electricity
- Veterinary laboratory space or equipment (microscopes, etc.)
- Live amphibians on site or otherwise available
Are there local or regional representatives to help with accommodations, food, ground transportation and facility use before and after the workshop? What will be the costs of the workshop? Consider: Who will provide the physical space for the workshop? Length of the workshop in days? Number of students? What are the costs of transportation local, regional, national, or international travel? What are the costs of accommodations and food? Instructors
- How many local instructors can we identify and at what cost?
- Costs for imported instructors (travel, lodging, food)?
Supplies including glass tanks, plumbing accessories, enclosure parts, pumps, etc. Have we considered costs for administrative time for grant writing and fundraising?
General Course of Action
Initiation: Students receive a registration form (includes specific questions regarding their expectations and goals along with current level of activity in regards to amphibians). Financial aid information, when applicable is also attached. Students are offered the opportunity to share their own work during the course and if interested, they are requested to submit an abstract. Links to online tutorials may also be included to registrants via a password.
Preparation: Two weeks prior to the course, students receive electronic files that include:
- Course Syllabus
- 4 to 5 page summary of the course
- A pre-workshop “quiz” that is returned electronically
- List of participants and contact information
- Selected reading list/bibliography
Arrival: Upon arrival to course, students receive:
- Name badge
- Summary of the course
- The answers to the quiz
- Library of relevant publications or methodological documents.
- Notepad and pen
Conclusion: At the conclusion of the course, students receive an evaluation form, a post-course assessment form, and a certificate.
- AArk contacts each student in order to assess on his or her progress and address any additional questions or issues.
- AArk creates a mailing list including all students and instructors to facilitate group communication beyond the workshop.
For more information and sample worksheets please download the complete AArk Training Course Prospectus.