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EAZA Home > News & Events > EAZA NewsBlog > Posts > Amphibians leap ahead of extinction on Leap Day
Amphibians leap ahead of extinction on Leap Day

To coincide with Leap Day (February 29th) 2012, Amphibian Ark is coordinating an international event, Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012. The event focuses on captive breeding programs for threatened amphibian species, by encouraging people to visit their closest zoo or public facility that is involved with amphibian conservation, on or around Leap Day 2012.

Amphibians (frogs, toads, newts and salamanders) are in dire need of our help because they are one of the most imperiled groups of living organisms. "For every one species of bird or mammal in trouble, there are two to three amphibian species on the brink of extinction" said Kevin Zippel, AArk Program Director. "The current amphibian extinction crisis is reminiscent of the disappearance of the dinosaurs, making it one of the greatest conservation challenges in the history of humanity."

Many institutions around the world have taken on the challenge of helping to preserve and breed some of the most threatened species, especially those that cannot currently be saved in the wild before they become extinct. The Leaping Ahead of Extinction event promotes these conservation programs, and raises awareness of the global amphibian crisis by providing opportunities for the general public to see what their local amphibian conservation organizations are doing.

58 institutions from 17 countries, including Australia, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, England, New Zealand and the US are participating in this celebration, and all participating institutions are listed on the Leaping Ahead of Extinction web page,

A fantastic poster featuring wonderful amphibian artwork has been created to promote the event , with amphibian art being generously donated by a group of artists. The posters also include logos of all participating institutions and have been distributed widely to all those involved with the campaign. The poster can be downloaded from

A Public Service Announcement video has also been created and can be viewed on our YouTube page,

Each institution is designing its own amphibian activities to celebrate Leap Day, and some of these are featured on the Leaping Ahead of Extinction activities web page, Amphibian program updates from some participating institutions are available on the institutional program updates web page, and additional information can be obtained directly from the institutions.

The Amphibian Ark is tracking ~100 rescue programs run by partners around the world. However, it estimates that a total of 900-1000 species require rescue to stave off imminent extinction.

About Amphibian Ark

Amphibian Ark was founded in 2006 by the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Its mission is facilitating partnerships that ensure the global survival of amphibians, focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in nature.

For logos and a selection of photos, please visit or contact:


Kevin Zippel

Amphibian Program Director


Kevin Johnson

Communications and Development Officer


Amphibian Ark


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