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Global Amphibian Declines

Amphibians are in crisis. Populations are declining at alarmingly rapid rates worldwide and species are disappearing from entire regions.

A greater proportion of amphibians are at imminent risk of extinction than any other animal class, including birds. Some have already been lost forever. While habitat loss, overexploitation and other "usual suspects" are partly to blame, the most significant cause globally is the emergence of the virulent fungal disease, chytridiomycosis; a disease which was unknown until 1998.
image copyright Richard Gibson

Addressing the threat of chytridiomycosis is not easy. We are used to conserving species by introducing or increasing protection measures of the animals and/or their habitats. Diseases respect neither the law nor protected areas. In fact, many of the most devastating effects of chytridiomycosis have occurred in unspoilt and protected areas, such as rain forest reserves in Australia and Central America.

Although chytridiomycosis can be treated with antifungal medications, it is both impractical and ecologically dangerous to attempt such treatments in the wild. Currently, our only defense is to bring vulnerable species into captivity until alternative approaches are devised. This is a massive challenge to the zoo and conservation research community.

If we are to avoid losing the world's amphibian biodiversity in the face of this daunting threat, zoos and other conservation organisations need to raise their game to a new level of cooperation along the lines of a Manhattan project-style response for amphibian conservation.

Organised by Dr Andrew Cunningham, Institute of Zoology, ZSL


Dr Andrew A Cunningham, Institute of Zoology, ZSL, London | talks | www
Dr Jaime Bosch, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales , CSIC, Madrid, Spain | talks | www
Kevin R. Buley, Curator of Lower Vertebrates & Invertebrates, Chester Zoo | talks | www


Date and Time:

12 June 2007 at 6:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Zoological Society of London
The Meeting Rooms, London Zoo
Regent's Park (Outer Circle)
0207 449 6227

More at The Zoological Society of London...



Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

Available from:

There will be a 3-course dinner with the speakers following this Scientific Meeting. For further information or to book places, please contact joy.miller@zsl.org or call 0207 449 6227.

Additional Information:

If you would like to be added to our e-mailing list for future meetings, please contact joy.miller@zsl.org

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