IT’S NOT THAT EASY BEIN’ GREEN
Jeanne Tarrant
Endangered Wildlife Trust

 

Abstract
Amphibians are the most rapidly declining vertebrate group on Earth, with a third of species currently listed as threatened. The causes of declines are many and varied, often working together synergistically to create the perfect storm for extinction. Habitat destruction, however, is responsible for the majority of declines by a factor of four over the next major threat, pollution. The global situation is reflected in South Africa with 30% of frog species Red Listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has the second highest number of threatened frog species (6) in the country. Recognising the need to breach the gap between academic research and conservation action, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) launched the Threatened Amphibian Programme (TAP) in September 2012. The programme aims to implement specific conservation actions to tackle direct threats and protect critical amphibian habitat as well as raise awareness through education and public initiatives regarding amphibians in a South African context. A focal species of the programme is the Critically Endangered Pickersgill’s Reed Frog, Hyperolius pickersgilli, which is endemic to the KZN coast and highly threatened by habitat destruction throughout its range. Only 2 of the 18 known sites are afforded any formal protection, with the remainder facing increasing threat of habitat loss and degradation. The EWT is working with all relevant stakeholders to develop a Biodiversity Management Plan for H. pickersgilli. A stakeholder workshop was held in September [2013] to initiate the development of the Plan, which will be ratified and implemented to ensure the long-term survival of this species.

 

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IT’S NOT THAT EASY BEIN’ GREEN
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