||Why don’t some
species have assessments?
There are currently over 7,000 known amphibian species, and as more
field research is done, additional species are regularly being
discovered and described. Species that are already known might not have
had their conservation needs assessed because assessing species and
their conservation status requires a great amount of time and effort,
and with limited budgets, it takes time for all species to be assessed.
There are also many amphibian species for which very little about their
status in the wild is known, and additional information is required
before a through conservation needs assessment can be completed.
From 2007-2104, Amphibian Ark staff worked with IUCN
Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) Chairs
to assess the conservation needs of 3,375 (46%) of the world’s
amphibian species through 26 national or regional workshops. During most
of those 26 assessment workshops, all amphibian species in each country
were assessed, resulting in complete national amphibian conservation
assessments. All of those assessments have been migrated to the new
online program, however some of the earliest assessments were undertaken
using a much simpler assessment process, meaning that only half of the
current assessment questions had been answered in those assessments.
Those assessments have been marked as “draft” and will not be included
in reports until they have been updated, completed and approved.
At the beginning of 2015, the online Conservation Needs Assessment
program was launched, and although we plan to continue to work with
national ASG Chairs to focus assessments for all species at the national
level, and to ensure that all species within each country are assessed
within a relatively short timeframe, assessors are able to create
assessments for any species, in any country, whenever they wish. This
may result in some countries having only a percentage of their species
The assessment of amphibians is ongoing and relies on the expertise of
hundreds of herpetologists from all around the world. New assessments
are required for species that have not yet been assessed, and it is
recommended that existing assessments be reviewed and updated at least
every five years, or whenever new information is discovered. However, as
it is a continuous ‘work in progress’ some amphibian species might not
be included in the Conservation Needs Assessment at a given moment in
time. As more amphibian experts become assessors, additional species
assessments will be undertaken.