Despite the theoretical protection afforded by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), many amphibians remain under threat. A new scientific paper co-authored by Katherine M. O’Donnell, a participant of the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour, explores the various issues that have served as challenges to the recovery of declining amphibian populations in the U.S.
A disappointing aspect of the current environmental situation is that even where recovery plans exist for certain amphibians, delays and indecisiveness have stood in the way of practical measures being taken. For example, concerns about the Dusky Gopher Frog, considered one of the “100 most critically endangered species in the world”, were first raised in 1982, only receiving formal endangered listing in 2001 —
19 years later. In addition, the designation of critical habitat, what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers essential to the species’ conservation, occurred another 11 years later in 2012.
This slow reaction to decline applies to a number of species, illustrating the need for urgent action. The authors of the publication propose several pragmatic strategies to encourage species recovery. Among these, strong leadership, training, better collaboration and improved information sharing are considered to hold the key to preventing a global amphibian crisis.
This important study appears in the prestigious scientific journal BioScience, which is published by the Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. The work is written by US Government employees and is available in the US public domain.