I am delighted to be invited to write the editorial for this Maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania edition of FrogLog. The new format of FrogLog has stimulated a renewed interest in amphibian conservation and vote of thanks is due to James Lewis (ASG Program Coordinator) for producing such a professional and informative ‘Newsletter’.
The Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) is starting to take shape with the appointment of Jaime Garcia Moreno as the Executive Director and myself as the Chief Scientist. The ASA is the umbrella organization formed to oversee the implementation of the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan at a global level. We are working very closely with many other institutions involved in amphibian conservation, such as the Amphibian Ark, and to cement the ties with the Amphibian Specialist Group I have been appointed as the Deputy Chair of the ASG. (For more information on ASA please see FrogLog 97).
This edition has a regional focus on Maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania and as I am based in New Zealand, I have been fortunate enough to have worked on frogs in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Melanesia. This is a very exciting part of the world to explore from an amphibian perspective. The region contains 1047 species of amphibians (1028 anurans and 19 caecilians) of which 24 are Critically Endangered, 53 are Endangered, 102 are Vulnerable and more importantly 285 are Data Deficient (according to AmphibiaWeb 2011 – special thanks to Kellie Whitaker for providing this data). I would like to propose a challenge for all local and visiting herpetologists that by the time its our turn again to report to FrogLog on the amphibians of this region that we have significantly reduced the number of data deficient species.
Some of the many highlights in this edition include the renewed interest in Philippine herpetological research, the rediscovery of a population of the highland bell frog (Litoria castanea) in Australia, and the discovery that the lungless frog (Barbourula kalimantanensis) is not as rare as we previously thought. In New Zealand as all the indigenous frogs seem to be able to cure themselves of chytridiomycosis in the lab, we have recently been focusing on ex situ interventions, introduced pest control and habitat protection. We have downscaled the ACAP to a local plan and this should hopefully be published by the end of the year.
Finally I would like to thank the many contributors to this edition and again to James Lewis for all his hard work in putting these newsletters together.
NEWS FROM THE ASG
6 ASG Updates
8 Mount Tompotika
10 The Living Planet Index
12 Members’ Bulletin Board
13 The Sabin Award
15 Global Amphibian BioBlitz Update
16 Regional Updates
24 NSW Declining Frog Working Group
25 Development and application of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) for the conservation of Australian anurans
26 Green and Golden Bell Frog Research at the University of Newcastle
28 Zoos Victoria supporting conservation of threatened native Australian frogs
30 Biology and conservation of Fiji’s iconic native amphibians
32 Auckland Zoo – Captive Breeding
33 Auckland Zoo – Frog Diseases
34 Hamilton Zoo
34 Massey University (Albany)
35 Landcare Research (Auckland)
36 DNA Detects Frog Predation, University of Otago
37 Just juice? Attempting to unravel the secrets of skin secretions in New Zealand’s endemic frogs
38 Susceptibility to chytridiomycosis
39 ‘State of the nation’ report on New Zealand translocations including a quick overview of past translocations
40 Long term population monitoring of the Maud Island frog and Archey’s frog, Victoria University of Wellington
41 Brief Encounters with Archey’s Frog
44 New Beginnings — A First Report on Frog Research in Timor-Leste
46 SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Powering Africa’s Environmental Revolution
47 The beginning of a career and the value of mentoring young scientists