The Amphibian Ark helps to coordinate ex situ programs implemented by partners around the world, with the first emphasis on programs within the range countries of the species, and with a constant attention to our obligation to couple ex situ conservation measures with necessary efforts to protect or restore species in their natural habitats.
An important aspect of helping to implementation amphibian conservation programs is to lead development and implementation of training programs for building capacity of individuals and institutions. A list of the subjects that would normally be covered during an Amphibian Ark husbandry workshop can be found on our Husbandry Workshop Topics page. You can also download the AArk Training Course Prospectus.
Our training mission
To develop institutional and national capacity that results in the implementation of successful ex situ amphibian conservation programs in the context of integrated amphibian conservation plans.
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
Kevin Wright, DVM
Eric Baitchman, DVM
Amphibian Ark Husbandry Instructors:
Joseph Mendelson. Ph.D.
Amphibian Ark Population Management Instructors:
European Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Our training courses Our training program objectives are:
- 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/areas/regions to better work together in taking charge of the conservation of local species.
- To stimulate interest in amphibian conservation in the regions.
- To provide guidance on developing regional conservation plans and strategies for collaboration with in situ conservation practitioners and municipal partners in the regions.
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.