Please note: If you are not directly involved with captive conservation programs for amphibians, we ask that you consider searching for any information you need on our web site, or using an internet search engine rather than contacting the people below. Due to their existing workloads, these people are unable to answer emails that are not from people involved with captive amphibian programs. Please consider using these other resources to find the help you need: Amphibian Husbandry, Chytrid Fungus, AArk Documents, Amphibians on the Web.
GERARDO GARCÍA was born in Barcelona (1969, Spain) is the Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates for Chester Zoo since March 2012.
He has been Head of the Herpetology Department at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust based in Jersey, United Kingdom (UK) since 2003 until 2012. His herpetological career started at Barcelona Zoo and at the Science Museum of Barcelona (CosmoCaixa) up until 1996 when he moved to work at Thoiry Zoo (Paris, France).
Gerardo completed a Ph.D. at the Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent on the “Ecology, human impact, and conservation of the Madagascan side-necked turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Ankarafantsika National Park”, where he lived for two years during his data collection and field work in Madagascar. Gerardo analyzed his data and began to write his thesis at the Laboratoire des Reptiles et Amphibiens, Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle of Paris, moving to Jersey in 2001.
His work with amphibians began in 1992 at the Barcelona Zoo being involved during the early years of the Recovery Programme for the Mallorcan midwife toad. Since then he has been involved with captive breeding programs of reptiles and amphibians in several institutions, linking ex situ with in situ conservation in Jersey (Rana dalmatina and Bufo bufo), Montserrat/Dominica (Leptodactylus fallax), Madagascar (Erymnochelys madagascariensis, Pyxis planicauda, Astrochelys yniphora, Mantella aurantiaca, M. cowani), Spain (Alytes obstetricans and Rana iberica), Mauritius (Nactus coindemirensis and Gongylomorphus fontenayi sp.) and recently in Bermuda (Plestiodon longirostris). During the last few years he has been involved in various training initiatives for amphibians around the world (Colombia, Dominica, France, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain, Montserrat, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Venezuela), improving the husbandry protocols of captive colonies and diverse in situ programs such as the Mountain chicken frogs (EAZA EEP Coordinator), genus Alytes and Rana in Spain and the amphibians of Jersey. Since 2012 he is also EAZA EEP Studbook Coordinator for the Komodo dragons and 2016 for the Achoques (Ambystoma dumerilii).
Gerardo has been actively involved in the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) as chair of the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group (ATAG) and vice-chair for the Reptile TAG. He’s also member of several IUCN Specialist Group. His major goal is to bring in situ conservation and research for these programs into the core of the EAZA. Gerardo was actively involved in the development of the Amphibian Campaign of the Year of the Frog 2008 and co-directed the first amphibian conservation courses in Europe for Zoos and Aquariums in 2006 continuing until now.
During his first three years at Chester Zoo has been directly involved on the development of the large collection of reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates to the new projects. One of the greatest developments is the Collection Plan for the development of the new project of Islands with more than 60 species. He also developed the in situ conservation programmes linked with his Departments in countries like Mexico, Madagascar and Indonesia as the diverse applied research projects to support animal welfare and conservation.
Gerardo also takes a great interest in raising the profile of the programmes within both specialist groups and the general public. In his spare time he also assisted other zoological institutions in the development of their animal collections, design exhibits, training staff and off show facilities for reptiles and amphibians and in the development of new conservation programs.