Anna Rauhaus, Cologne Zoo, Germany
Anna Rauhaus is section keeper in the herpetological department of Cologne Zoo’s Aquarium house. Together with her team she is taking care of thirty-two amphibian species, and has successfully reproduced nineteen amphibian species at the Cologne Zoo’s Terrarium, with a focus on Indochinese taxa. Ten of the amphibian species currently kept at the Terrarium section are threatened, and two thirds of them have been already bred.
|Anna Rauhaus with Vietnamese crocodile newt for repatriation in Cologne Zoo’s amphibian breeding room.|
In times of the global amphibian crisis it is important that zoos stronger plead for threatened species, in particular to be prepared for IUCN’s One Plan Approach for conservation activities. For instance, both the first breeding worldwide and the first F2 breeding of the threatened Vietnamese Crocodile Newt (Tylototriton vietnamensis) succeeded at Cologne Zoo’s Terrarium section under Anna`s supervision. Of the more than 300 Vietnamese Crocodile Newts which completed metamorphosis at the Terrarium section, a considerable number was already provided to other zoos in Europe and also to the Citizen Conservation Program, which includes committed private keepers, to extend the conservation breeding network.
In 2019 the first repatriation of the Vietnamese Crocodile Newts took place based with offspring from Cologne Zoo, which is one of many One Plan Approach projects connected to Cologne Zoo’s Terrarium section. This all has happened thanks to the commitment of Anna and her team of amphibian keepers. They are also involved with the conservation of a locally threatened amphibian species by helping to rear Green Toad (Bufotes viridis) larvae from the surroundings in Cologne for restocking declining natural populations. More than 1,500 Green Toads were released in the last year. The project of the partners Cologne Zoo (together with the Cologne Drainage Utility, “StEB Köln”), NABU Nature Conservation Station Leverkusen-Köln and the University of Technology at Brunswick was awarded in 2019 as an official project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity (CBD, Convention on Biological Diversity).
As a long-term member of Cologne Zoo’s biodiversity research and conservation projects in Vietnam, Anna, with others, has also helped to develop the amphibian keeping and breeding facilities at the Melinh Station of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources in northern Vietnam and to train the station’s team to increase conservation breeding programs. The German-Vietnamese cooperation team subsequently has named a species after her, Theloderma annae, Anna’s Mossy Frog, to acknowledge her contribution and Frogs and Friends just have honored her as champions of the Endangered in June 2022.
Anna has published thirty-four papers dealing with amphibian breeding, larval development and staging as well as batrachodiversity and amphibian conservation in general. She also helps supervising students at the University of Cologne, performing zoo data base analyses, viz. determining the percentage of threatened taxa already kept and bred in zoos, to show zoos options to improve their collections for conservation purposes. The most recent analysis Anna has coauthored was just published in Nature Conservation “Assessment of the threat status of the amphibians in Vietnam – Implementation of the One Plan Approach”.
With her strong commitment, Anna and her team show the substantial contribution that zoo keepers can provide to improved amphibian research and the IUCN’s One Plan Approach to conservation.
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