PLEASE HELP SUPPORT AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION
Currently, approximately 1,900 of the world’s frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, pollution, and the devastating amphibian chytrid fungus that has been implicated in over 100 species extinctions since the 70s. Valiant conservation action in protected areas is needed immediately.
Even though the delicate natural balance necessary to maintain healthy amphibian populations has been alarmingly disturbed across the globe, the good news is that large stretches of untouched, protected Costa Rican rainforest remain. One section in particular, just two hours from San Jose, is a frog, toad, salamander and caecilian hot spot, and boasts over 60 documented amphibian species.
In the late 1990s, Brian Kubicki, a young Minnesota native, borrowed some money and bought about 200 acres of partially disturbed rainforest right in the middle of this hot spot. He then set out to create, maintain and preserve a rainforest habitat for the unique and declining species of herpetofauna found in the area – which includes bushmasters, eyelash vipers and wood turtles . . . and of course, lots of unique frogs.
His current strategies for amphibian relief seem to be working. He digs out ponds by hand and plants the species-specific vegetation needed to promote frog reproduction. So far, Brian has established breeding pools for fifteen different species of amphibians, one of which is the lemur leaf frog (). This critically endangered hylid frog has seen a 50% decline throughout its range over the past fifteen years due to habitat loss and disease.
Every year, thousands of dollars destined for high-profile conservation programs are raised at the benefit auction held in conjunction with the National Reptile Breeders’ Expo in Daytona, Florida. In keeping with tradition, proceeds from this year’s Auction, scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd, will be used to create, landscape, and maintain more amphibian breeding ponds at the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center. The funds will also help carry on in-country efforts to captive breed and release many native amphibian species – including some that are critically endangered.
According to Kubicki, the U.S. founder and director of the Center, efforts there are currently self-funded, mostly through the sale of books.
However, you can help Brian create and sustain more breeding ponds by donating items for this year’s Daytona Benefit Auction. Please bring auction items to the Expo, or send them to:
Homestead, FL 33033
Please include your name, address, and the value of the donated items.
Please join us at 6:30pm on 22 August 2009 for the National Reptile Breeders’ Auction. There will be a silent and live auction with live reptiles, art, books, and many more herp-related items.
Thank you for your support!
Please visit http://www.cramphibian.com for more information about the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center.