AArk Program Implementation Tool

Type in a species name, and then answer all of the questions below, to determine if you are ready to implement your AARK ex situ conservation breeding program for the species

The first few questions ensure that there is authorisation for any proposed ex situ conservation program, and that founderanimals are available. The second section represents the actual Implementation of an ex situ program and considers the practical feasibility of initiating and maintaining a program a sort of check list of essential elements prior to initiation.

For additional advice on implementing ex situ amphibian conservation programs, please contact AArk staff..


Data for proposed program
 

Species name: 
Common name:
Ex situ program authority:
Extinction risk:


Ex situ Program Authorization/Availability of animals

1. Mandate *
Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 2. If the answer is No, there is insufficient authorisation for an ex situ initiative at this time. You should seek mandate from ASG/AArk or other authority.


 


2. Range state approval *
Is the proposed ex situ initiative supported by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 3. If the answer is No, there is insufficient authorisation for an ex situ initiative at this time. You should seek approval from range country (with help from AArk/ASG as required) before proceeding.


3. Founder specimens *
Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate the specified ex situ program? AArk recommends that a minimum of twenty pairs of animals be collected as founder animals.

If the answer is Yes, go to question 4. If the answer is No, there are insufficient potential founder specimens to initiate the ex situ program. You should evaluate options for alternative conservation strategy including gamete cryopreservation.


4. Phylogenetic study *
Has a complete phylogenetic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to gain the required knowledge of the species, and the animals being considered for collection?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 5. If the answer is No, there is insufficient knowledge of the species, and a phylogenetic study should be undertaken before considering an ex situ program for the species. You should undertake appropriate research in conjunction with local field biologists (with help from AArk/ASG as required) in order to confirm that the specific program encompasses only one Evolutionary Distinct Unit (ESU) before proceeding.


Program Stability

5. Comprehensive plan *
Too often ex situ programs rest on the shoulders of one facility or institution. Is there a written plan in place detailing the goals of the program, listing all partners and including an exit strategy for the program?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 6. If the answer is No, there is insufficient planning. You should seek assistance from ASG/AArk or other authority to develop a clear plan.


6. Financial security *
Is there sufficient financial support for the anticipated life of the ex situ initiative? Or is there good reason to believe that further financial support is realistically achievable? Many programs run for five, ten, or even more years, and sufficient financial resources to support the program for the whole of this time must be available if the program is to be successful.

If the answer is Yes, go to question 7. If the answer is No, there are inadequate resources. You should explore possibilities for financial support before initiating program (with help from AArk as appropriate).


7. Organisational and political security *
Is the stability of the institution/region/State etc. sufficient to ensure a continued commitment to the ex situ program over its anticipated lifespan?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 8. If the answer is No, there is insufficient stability. You should consider alternative location/institutions and partnerships.


Taxon knowledge

8. Background ex situ species knowledge
Is there a history of keeping and breeding this taxon successfully in captivity?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 11. If the answer is No, go to question 9.


9. Background in situ species knowledge
Is there sufficient understanding of the ecology, behaviour and reproductive mode of the taxon to infer the likely ex situ requirements?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 11. If the answer is No, go to question 10.


10. Analogous species *
Despite a lack of direct knowledge of the ex situ requirements of the target taxon, can they be inferred with a reasonable degree of confidence from similar/related taxa?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 11. If the answer is No, there is insufficient knowledge of the taxon and its requirements at this time. Your ex situ program should be delayed, where possible, while relevant experience/information is gathered e.g. by working with analogue species.


Accommodation

11. Current facilities
Is the appropriate quality and quantity of facilities (in country or out of country) currently available? Not just for founder animals, but also for captive bred offspring of all life-stages/sizes (consider space; heating & cooling; water supply, quality, treatment & disposal; lighting; ventilation etc).

If the answer is Yes, go to question 13. If the answer is No, go to question 12.


12. Planned facilities *
Are there confirmed plans within a specified timeframe - to develop the appropriate quality and quantity of facilities to permit the full development of the planned ex situ program (in country or out of country)?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 13. If the answer is No, there is insufficient infrastructure available or planned to permit the likely successful development of the ex situ program for this taxon. You should contact AArk with respect to possible implementation of rapid response where urgent action is necessary and/or with respect to identifying suitable partners/supporters.


Husbandry and Management

13. Personnel
Are adequate numbers of skilled staff available with the appropriate ex situ amphibian experience?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 15. If the answer is No, go to question 14.


14. Training *
Can adequate numbers of skilled staff be made available for training in the appropriate ex situ amphibian skills, prior to animals being collected?

If the answer is Yes, Go to Question 15. Please contact AArk training or program officer for help. If the answer is No, suitable personnel not available. Please contact AArk with respect to possible implementation of rapid response where urgent action is necessary and/or with respect to identifying suitable partners/supporters.


15. Food supply *
Is there a reliable food supply in both quality and quantity for adult, immature and larval stages of the taxon in place prior to collecting animals from the wild? Consider the availability of food for the entire length of the program, and if needs be, an appropriate food production facility might need to be implemented.

If the answer is Yes, go to question 16. If the answer is No, there are inadequate resources. You should explore food supply opportunities before proceeding.


16. Management *
Is the appropriate standard of record-keeping and knowledge of small population management available to help minimise the risk of potential deleterious effects such as loss of genetic diversity, artificial selection, pathogen transfer, hybridisation etc. (This expertise does not necessarily have to be held at the facility itself, but access to these skills is essential).

If the answer is Yes, go to question 17. If the answer is No, there is a shortage of skills to support the ex situ program. You should seek support from AArk Population Management Advisory Group and/or regional zoo and aquarium associations before or soon after, proceeding.


17. Preparedness for Incoming Animals *
Have appropriate measures (quarantine, veterinary protocols), facilities (appropriate environmentally controlled space in facility) and resources (enclosures, food, staff) been put in place PRIOR to collecting animals?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 18. If the answer is No, facilities are not sufficiently prepared. You should implement outstanding issues before acquiring animals. Please seek support from AArk.


18. Veterinary care and health screening *
Has provision been made for the long term routine health monitoring of the population and is the appropriate level of veterinary care available?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 19. If the answer is No, there are inadequate resources. You should seek veterinary support through universities, zoos and aquariums or others before proceeding.


Quarantine and Biosecurity

19. Escapes *
Are measures in place to minimise the risk of animal escapes and introduction of an invasive species?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 20. If the answer is No, animal security measures are not sufficient. You should review and improve biosecurity Refer to AArk Husbandry and Biosecurity Standards before proceeding.


20. Species isolation *
Are appropriate measures in place at the proposed ex situ facility to minimise the risk of possible disease transfer to or from other ex situ or wild amphibian populations?

If the answer is Yes, go to question 21. If the answer is No, there are insufficient measures currently in place to prevent disease transfer. You should review and improve biosecurity Refer to AArk Husbandry and Biosecurity Standards before proceeding.


21. Water treatment *
Are the appropriate waste water treatment regimes in place to eliminate the possibility of disease transfer from the ex situ population to the external environment?

If the answer is Yes, an ex situ conservation program currently feasible and ready for implementation. If the answer is No, biosecurity measures are inadequate. You should review and improve biosecurity Refer to AArk Husbandry and Biosecurity Standards before proceeding.