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World’s first Amphibian Reserve launched in Colombia

Tuesday 23 December 2008.

Despite 2008 being “The year of the frog”, there has been little to celebrate with news on the worsening plight of amphibians – an important indicator for the environment. As the year draws to a close, ProAves is proud to launch the world’s first amphibian reserve, the Ranita Dorada Amphibian Reserve, to protect a unique forest for amphibians in the Cordillera Central of Colombia.

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Swainson’s Poison Frog Ranitomeya doriswainsonae, described in 2006,and Little Golden Poison Frog Ranitomeya tolimense, described in 2007.

 

Responding to an emergency situation for two extremely endangered Poison-dart frogs, this exciting new initiative for amphibian conservation is born from a partnership between the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, IUCN Netherlands, Dendrobatidae Nederland, Conservation International, and Fundación ProAves, plus the support of Conservation International-Colombia and the Netherlands Postcode Lottery.

The new reserve encompasses an isolated wet subtropical forest fragment in a region dominated by coffee and pasturelands in the municipality of Falan, department of Tolima. The forest fragment was being cleared for agricultural uses in a region devoid of subtropical forest. The new reserve is the sole home to a large diversity of endangered amphibians, including two spectacular Poison-dart frogs; Swainson’s Poison Frog (Ranitomeya doriswainsonae), and the Little Golden Poison Frog (Ranitomeya tolimense) as well as other amphibian new to science and as yet undescribed.

This action comes at a crucial moment when conservation measures are urgently needed for this highly sensitive group. Amphibian’s dependence on clean freshwater and sensitivity to deforestation and climate change gives added urgency that we take greater care of them as our own health and survival depends on the same resources. We hope that heralding this new innovative conservation action – the world’s first Amphibian Reserve – will encourage others worldwide to help protect this group.

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