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Greetings from Zoos and Aquariums Committed to Conservation Conference

01/26/2018

Today is my talk on a "Establishing a holistic conservation plan for the Azuay stubfoot toad (Atelopus bomolochos), an amphibian species from Ecuador that was thought to be extinct." At this talk I will explain to the public how Zoo Amaru and Philadelphia Zoo have worked together to create the conservation plan for the Azuay stubfoot toad, (A. bomolochos), the newest addition to our conservation program.

Stable populations for this toad were last seen in 1980, with an unconfirmed record from 2002. In 2012, the toad was seen again by a reforestation team from the Ministry of the Environment, and staff from ACC-Amaru confirmed that it was the Azuay stubfoot toad. Quickly after its discovery, a joint collaboration between national, regional and local government and research entities emerged and the Azuay stubfoot toad slowly jumped all the way into National Geographic, putting in the World map, not only the amphibian extinction crisis, but also the small town where it was found. 

Thanks to our efforts, we have been able to establish the first Municipal conservation area that helps protect the habitat of this toad. It is a water production area for the town of Sigsig, known as Reserva Municipal Páramo Negro in Sigsig, and protects over 60% of the area of occurrence for the toad.  We have created management plans together with the town of Sigsig, and have begun a breeding program for the species at the Amphibian Conservation Center – Amaru.