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  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 being assessed.

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.
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