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Seed Grant Winners

AArk Seed Grant programWe’re very excited to announce two additional projects that have recently been awarded Amphibian Ark Seed Grants, making a total of four grants awarded in 2017. We look forward to seeing great progress and success for both of these programs.

AArk’s $5,000 competitive Seed Grants are designed to fund small start-up projects that are in need of seed money in order to build successful long-term programs that attract larger funding. More information about the grants can be found on the Seed Grant page, and all past grant recipients can be seen on the Seed Grant Winners page. The recipients of seed grants in 2017 are:

  • An ex situ conservation program for the Zippel’s Frog, Aromobates zippeli, Enrique La Marca, Laboratory of Biogeography of the University of Los Andes at Merida, Venezuela
  • Saving the giant frogs of Peru, Telmatobius culeus and T. macrostomus, Lizette Bermúdez Larrazábal, Parque Zoológico Huachipa, Peru
  • Reintroduction of the Northern Pool Frog to the UK, Jim Forster, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • Guanajuato Program for the rescue of the Big-footed Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda), L.A.E. Rubén David Rocha Lemus, Leon Zoo, Guanajuato, Mexico

 

Zippel's Frog, Fernando J.M. Rojas-RunjaicAn ex situ conservation program for the Zippel’s Frog, Aromobates zippeli
Enrique La Marca, Laboratory of Biogeography of the University of Los Andes at Merida, Venezuela

Aromobates zippeli, a Venezuelan Andean high montane frog species, is one of the most endangered Aromobates. There is an urgent need to establish an ex situ program, given the huge amount of habitat destruction and agrochemical pollution facing the remaining populations. This project is addressed to rescue populations of this endangered species through captive husbandry and breeding, as well as reintroduction back into the wild. The ex situ program for Zippel’s Frog will be carried out in the Laboratory of Biogeography of the University of the Andes in Mérida, Venezuela, following recommended biosecurity standards (e.g. Amphibian Ark, 2008) and captive husbandry protocols developed by us with previous ex situ seed grants from AArk. This species has a close relationship to the AArk since it was named after a previous Program Director, Kevin C. Zippel.

The complete project proposal can be viewed here.

Telmatobius macrostomus, Lake Junin FrogSaving the giant frogs of Peru, Telmatobius macrostomus
Lizette Bermúdez Larrazábal, Parque Zoológico Huachipa, Peru

The Lake Junin Frog (Telmatobius macrostomus) is a high Andean species of lacustrine frog categorized as Endangered by the IUCN. This species is in danger of disappearing since in recent years their populations have been diminished on a large scale. Among the priority threats are over-exploitation for consumption and use in the preparation of curative extracts and the high degree of contamination of the bodies of water where they live. Despite the state’s efforts to create protected natural areas to mitigate its threats, these have not been effective, and other measures are needed to support the population. We intend to manage a viable population of this species in captivity and achieve reproductive success so that they can be reintroduced in the future. Huachipa Zoological Park, has successfully maintained and reproduced the Titicaca Water Frog (Telmatobius culeus) in captivity, so we can manage a viable captive population, also there is an action plan which is being developed for the conservation of this species. Our experience will hopefully allows us to be successful with management of T. macrostomus which requires immediate management.

The complete project proposal can be viewed here.

Northern Pool FrogReintroduction of the Northern Pool Frog to the UK 
Jim Forster, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Bournemouth, United Kingdom

The Northern Pool Frog (Pelophylax lessonae) became extinct in the UK in 1995, largely as a result of habitat loss and deterioration. A reintroduction program initiated by ARC Trust and partners in 2005 has restored one population to a specially prepared UK site using wild-to-wild translocation of Swedish founders. Whilst that intervention appears to be successful to date, the result is that UK has had only a single population of Northern Pool Frogs in recent years. This is clearly a perilous situation: should any harm come to that population, the species would again risk being extirpated from the UK. Therefore, the ARC Trust has been working to establish a second population. The outcome of this carefully planned ex situ intervention will be that the UK conservation status of the Northern Pool Frog will be considerably improved, via the establishment of a second viable population. The Northern Pool Frog is the UK’s rarest amphibian species, and is strictly protected by national and European legislation. 

The complete project proposal can be viewed here.

Lothobates megapodaGuanajuato Program for the rescue of the Big-footed Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda) 
L.A.E. Rubén David Rocha Lemus, Leon Zoo, Guanajuato, Mexico

Given the situation that amphibians face nowadays and the little study that exists in their regard in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico; the Leon Zoo decided to join the amphibian conservation efforts worldwide. We intend to do this by developing a Conservation Program for the Big-footed Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda) that includes the creation of efficient protocols for ex situ breeding and husbandry, mitigation of the identified threats that this species faces, and working along with the community about the importance of conservation and protection of the Big-footed Leopard Frog. The Amphibian Ark funds will help start the project and obtain the necessary equipment and materials that will be required in the ex situ conservation laboratory.

The complete project proposal can be viewed here.

 

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