Amphibians are at risk from a lethal cocktail of threats that include disease, climate change and pollution. Stemming the decline and extinction of amphibian species will require targeting the number one threat, however: the continued loss and degradation of habitat. Amphibians, because of their typically small home ranges, can be safeguarded through the protection of relatively small tracts of suitable habitat and provide an ideal target group for actions to halt biodiversity loss.
This SOS - Save Our Species project, implemented by Conservation International (CI), focused on protecting and managing three key areas (Morningside in Sri Lanka, Mount Tompotika in Indonesia, and Chocó in Colombia) identified as global priorities for urgent conservation action on account of threat and irreplaceability.
Project Location Chocó of Colombia:
- 2 new species discovered
Two species believed to be entirely new to science, in addition to numerous other threatened species, have been safeguarded by the creation of a new protected area, tackling the number one threat to species in this region - habitat loss. The discovery of new species is vitally important - if we don't know that something is there, we cannot protect it. The two species, once described, can be assigned a threat category and prioritized for conservation. Read more: Luckily, thanks to this project, these species will be around long enough to assign them a Red List Category. This proactive approach is critical to protecting species that have yet to even be described if we know them to be at risk of extinction. We believe no species deserves to go extinct - named or unnamed!
- New protected area & incredible variety of species (important for medicine)
A research and forest guard station has been constructed thanks to the support of SOS - it will allow the protection and management of this area in the Chocó Department of Colombia - one of the richest regions in terms of amphibians in the world, with many threatened species.
- Forest guard - enforcing protection
A forest guard has been employed and is now situated full time at the Reserve. This will be critical in terms of enforcing protection of the area, in addition to sensitizing local communities to the importance of these actions.
- Ecotourism and local communities
Ecotourism is a means of supporting the project in the long term. Paying guests are already frequenting the station, providing a revenue source to support the protection and management of the park. In addition, local communities are being sensitized to the importance of amphibians and the value of ecotourism in generating income - this goes hand-in-hand with conservation.