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30 November 2009

THE AMPHIBIAN ARK





The world’s amphibians are disappearing.  More than one hundred species may have already gone extinct and thousands more are threatened with extinction.  Many of the threatened species cannot be safeguarded in the wild and require ex situ management if they are to persist.  The Amphibian Ark (AArk) draws together diverse stakeholders to save select species until in situ threats can be mitigated.  AArk work includes species conservation needs assessment, husbandry training, capacity building, fostering partnerships, fundraising, and education.

The AArk is a joint effort of three principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG). We were formed in 2005 to address the ex situ components of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP). 
Our vision is The world’s amphibians safe in nature, and our mission is Ensuring the global survival of amphibians, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature.

We help 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.



More information about the Amphibian Ark is available on our web site, www.amphibianark.org and we also encourage you to subscribe to our free quarterly electronic newsletter.

Kevin Johnson
Amphibian Ark Communications and Development Officer

BOOK ON LIZARDS FROM SRI LANKA



This is a recent checklist (year 2009) with all the lizard species known to occur in Sri Lanka. There are accounts with pictures and relevant information for each of the species. An illustrated key, showing thumbnail images, facilitates identification of the different taxa. The book completes with a glossary, a gazetteer of localities, an index to scientific names, and a list of references.
Contact: ruchira.somaweera@gmail.com (please notice that this author does not sell copies but could point to several places that do).

28 November 2009

HAWKSBILL TURTLE RESCUED IN THE GULF OF VENEZUELA


A Hawksbill Sea Turtle ("Tortuga Carey", Eretmochelys imbricata) was rescued by the Marine Turtle Work Group of Venezuela’s Gulf -Grupo de Trabajo en Tortugas Marinas del Golfo de Venezuela- (GTTM-GV) at Caimare Chico beach, in the Gulf of Venezuela, last November 16th.
          This reptile was accidentally trapped in a handmade fishing net; the fisherman, who was already aware of the work this group executes, activated the Opportune Information Network – Zulia (RAO-Zulia) that lead the team to its encounter. At present it is very weak, nevertheless it has satisfactorily responded to the rehabilitation process; its physiological conditions are perfectly normal, it has very good appetite and it is hunting little shrimp that are put in its proximity.
         This rescue is extremely special, because it is referred to one of the species of marine turtles (E. imbricata) that are in critic danger of extinction; this is why it is exceedingly important for the GTTM-GV to get this magnificent specimen healthy and release it under the best conditions so that it has higher opportunities of survival. On the other hand, it is repeatedly questioned the reason why this little chelonian was found on the coastal waters of the Venezuelan Gulf.


It is important to highlight that the whole process of rescuing, rehabilitation and immediate reintegration of this specimen within its environment is under this team’s responsibility, and it is supported by the Wash Ashore Attention Network of Zulia State (Minamb, ICLAM, LUZ, InsoPESCA, among others).

Text by Erika Simonaro. 
Source: GTTM-GV 20/11/2009. (gttm-gv@gmail.com, Facebook: GTTM-GV)

     


NEW COURSE ON VENEZUELAN SNAKES


INTRODUCTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE AND CONSERVATION OF VENEZUELAN SNAKES Importance, classification, origin and evolution, morphology, natural history, conservation, Venezuelan Families and Genera, importance of Internet and photography.
Language: Spanish
Place: Auditorium Sociedad de Ciencias, El Marqués, Caracas, Venezuela.
Date: Saturday 23 January 2010
Contact: info@serpientesdevenezuela.net

25 November 2009

CONSERVATION HOPE FOR THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SIAMESE CROCODILE



The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is a Critically Endangered species with small populations living in continental Southeast Asia and the islands of Java and Borneo. The species no longer occurs in the vast majority of its former range: it was hunted in so large numbers that it was declared as “Extinct in the wild” by the 1992 IUCN Crocodile Action Plan.


Some threats to the species are captures in the wild, river hydroelectric projects, and increasing human pressure on natural habitats. There are some specimens in captivity, but most of them are hybrids.
This year, DNA analyses revealed that 35 crocs of the 69 rescued crocodiles at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, in Cambodia, were pure breed Siamese crocs. The finding is thought to be critical for the long-term preservation of the species, through a captive breeding program and later release of offspring in suitable natural habitats. Fauna & Flora International, the Cambodian Forestry Administration, and Wildlife Alliance are providing technical support for this task. This action will start in 2010; but, since sexual maturation of the species is slow, it will take more than a decade before the program yields more positive results.


We thank Fauna & Flora International and the Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme for allowing use of the photos shown here.
Read more on this story at: www.fauna&flora.org: Siamese_crocs

21 November 2009

200+ visitors during first month


MANY THANKS FOR VISITING THE BLOG! WE REACHED NOW MORE THAN 200 VISITORS FROM 30 COUNTRIES IN OUR FIRST MONTH!

¡MUCHAS GRACIAS POR VISITAR EL BLOG! ¡AHORA ALCANZAMOS MÁS DE 200 VISITANTES DESDE 30 PAÍSES EN NUESTO PRIMER MES!

18 November 2009

NEW BOOK ON AMPHIBIANS



AMPHIBIANS OF VENEZUELA: state of knowledge and recommendations to its conservation (In Spanish)

This document is the first intent to evaluate the state of knowledge, and to identify and order the country’s need in matter of conservation of amphibians.
Contact: josefa.senaris @fundacionlasalle.org.ve

15 November 2009

FRESWATER TURTLES AND TORTOISES ACCOUNTS



The IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group is engaged in a long term conservation project dealing with all extant freshwater turtles and tortoises in the world. Species accounts have already been prepared for 31 species involving 73 Nations and Territories where they occur. Published accounts (last one released on 13 November 2009) are available at: http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/

14 November 2009

NEW BOOK ON SERPENTES

GUIDE TO THE SNAKES OF VENEZUELA: Biology, venoms, conservation and species list.
A full-color illustrated guide to the snakes of Venezuela (103 pages, In Spanish).
Available from: Luis Fernando Navarrete: herpetoamigo@gmail.com

07 November 2009

NEW SYMPOSIUM ON SNAKE VENOM AND SNAKEBITE (IN NORTHEASTERN INDIA)



The symposium on “Recent Advances in Research on Snake Venom and Snakebite Therapy: National and International Perspectives (SnakSymp-09)” is scheduled to be held in Tezpur, Assam, India, from 18 to 19 December 2009.  
The symposium will be attended by many renowned toxinologists and physicians of India and abroad.   For more information contact: snaksymp@gmail.com

06 November 2009

AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE CRISIS. LATEST UPDATE

The 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ shows that 17,291 species out of the 47,677 assessed species are threatened with extinction. Craig Hilton-Taylor, Manager of the IUCN Red List Unit, says “these results are just the tip of the iceberg. We have only managed to assess 47,663 species so far; there are many more millions out there which could be under serious threat".


The IUCN results reveal that 30 percent of all known amphibians, and 28 percent of reptiles assessed so far are under threat.
Of the 1,677 reptiles on the IUCN Red List, 469 are threatened with extinction and 22 are already Extinct or Extinct in the Wild.
The IUCN Red List shows that “1,895 of the planet’s 6,285 amphibians are in danger of extinction, making them the most threatened group of species known to date. Of these, 39 are already Extinct or Extinct in the Wild, 484 are Critically Endangered, 754 are Endangered and 657 are Vulnerable”.

04 November 2009

TAPROBANICA




Taprobanica, the Journal of South Asian Biodiversity, launched in April 2009, publishes original papers, notes, and essays on South Asian biodiversity topics, with special attention to Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. The first number featured almost 60% of papers on amphibians and reptiles. The second number is scheduled to appear in November 2009.   

01 November 2009

AMPHIBIAN AND REPTILE HIGH DIVERSITY IN THE GAMBA COMPLEX OF GABON, AFRICA



The Gamba Complex in Gabon, is a national protected wildland mosaic, mix of tropical forest, savanna, fresh water, and marine environments. It holds a high diversity of amphibians (75 species) and reptiles (84 species; including 11 turtles, 3 crocodiles, 2 amphisbaenians, 23 lizards, and 49 snakes), by far the richest herpetofauna assemblage for this African country. Although the herpetofauna of Gabon is very rich, it is also one of the least known and potentially one of the most endangered.
Learn more at: MABinGabon/biodiversity

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