The first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of all amphibians was completed as the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA) in 2004, one of several global initiatives led by IUCN and partners to rapidly expand the geographic and taxonomic coverage of the IUCN Red List. Since 2004, the data have been updated in 2006 and again in 2008 to include new information and to take account of taxonomic changes and newly described or revalidated species.
This first assessment was implemented in three main stages:
Since the first assessment there have been two updates of the data.
Keeping the amphibian data accurate and up-to-date is an ongoing process that relies on the expertise of hundreds of herpetologists from all around the world. Almost 650 experts from over 60 countries have so far contributed to the assessment.
For every amphibian species currently known, the following data were collected (see Description of Data for further information):
The task of collecting the initial data at the very beginning of the assessment process was divided into 33 geographic regions that were defined to cover the global distribution of all amphibians. Regional coordinators were then appointed the responsibility of collecting data on all the amphibians in their region. Initial data collection began in most regions in 2001. See Table 1 for a list of the regions and the corresponding coordinator and number of species.
|Region||Coordinator||Number of species|
|Africa||Alan Channing and Simon Stuart||683|
|Amazonian Brazil||Claudia Azevedo-Ramos||179|
|Atlantic Forest-Cerrado-Caatinga||Debora Silvano||469|
|China and the Koreas||Michael Wai Nang Lau||317|
|Colombia||Wilmar Bolivar and Fernando Castro||407|
|Costa Rica||Bruce Young||179|
|Ecuador||Santiago Ron and Luis Coloma||424|
|Europe||Simon Stuart and Neil Cox||82|
|Madagascar and Seychelles||Ron Nussbaum||222|
|Mainland Southeast Asia||Peter Paul van Dijk||232|
|New Zealand||Ben Bell||7|
|North America||Geoffrey Hammerson||261|
|Northern Eurasia||Sergius Kuzmin||48|
|Papuan Region||Steve Richards||305|
|Peru||Javier Icochea, Lily Rodriguez and Ariadne Angulo||294|
|South Asia||Sushil Dutta||311|
|Southern Cone of Argentina||Esteban Lavilla and Carmen Ubeda||108|
|Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi||Djoko Iskandar||144|
|The Guianas||Bob Reynolds||63|
|Venezuela||Enrique La Marca||294|
|West Asia||Theodore Papenfuss||44|
Definitions for the more complex regions listed in Table 1 are as follows:
The data that was collected was entered into the SIS Data Entry Module database by each coordinator and then sent back to the central coordinating team for review.
All the data collected in the initial stage of the assessment was subject to peer review. For most regions this was done through expert workshops, and in a small number of regions it was completed through individual reviews of the data by leading herpetologists in the region.
There were 14 workshops held in various countries to review the data. At each workshop amphibian experts for the region were invited to participate and contribute their knowledge as well as to comment on the data already compiled by the regional coordinators.
Each workshop is listed below with a photograph of the participants where available.
Australia: Hobart, Tasmania, 6-8 February 2001
Host: World Wide Fund for Nature – Australia
China and the Koreas: Chengdu, China, 18-21 March 2002
Host: Chengdu Institute of Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Africa: Watamu, Kenya, 16-18 April 2002
South Asia: Coimbatore, India, 1-5 July 2002
Host: The Zoo Outreach Organisation and the Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society (a joint workshop with the CBSG CAMP process).
Southeast Asia (merging the Mainland Southeast Asia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Philippines regions): Bangkok, Thailand, 30 September - 4 October 2002
Host: IUCN Regional Office for Asia.
Meso America (merging the Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama regions): La Selva, Costa Rica, 11-15 November 2002
Host: IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica.
Papuan Region: Hawaii, United States, 24-27 February 2003
Host: The Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
Tropical South America East of the Andes (merging the Amazonian Brazil, Atlantic Forest-Cerrado-Caatinga, Paraguay, and Guianas regions, and parts of the Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela regions ): Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 31 March - 4 April 2003
Host: Conservation International’s Brazilian Center for Biodiversity Conservation.
Tropical Andes (merging the remaining parts of the Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia regions): Tandayapa, Ecuador, 18-22 August 2003
Host: Conservation International’s Andean Center for Biodiversity Conservation.
Madagascar: Gland, Switzerland, 22-25 September 2003
Chile: Concepción, Chile, 3-4 October 2003
Host: Universidad de Concepción.
Argentina and Uruguay: Puerto Madryn, Argentina, 12-14 October 2003
Host: La Asociación Herpetológica Argentina.
Caecilians: London, United Kingdom, 23-25 February 2004
Host: atural History Museum.
Caribbean: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 19-21 March 2004
Host: The United Nations office in the Dominican Republic.
There were some regions that for various reasons were reviewed by correspondence rather than a workshop. These regions are listed below:
In Australia, the process involved both a workshop and a review by correspondence. For the 2004 release of the data, Mediterranean species were only reviewed by correspondence and then in December 2004 a workshop was held to further review these species and these edits were included in the 2006 update.
The data from North America was not reviewed in the same depth as that from the rest of the world, mainly because time did not permit consultations involving many of the very large number of experts who could potentially be involved. However, the data from this region was already very good, since so much prior work has been focused on amphibians in this region, and is readily available in the published literature.
As the review of data was completed, region by region, the information was consolidated by the central coordinating team at the Biodiversity Assessment Unit. Specific tasks that needed to be addressed included:
Since the initial release of the data in 2004 there has been constant updating and upgrading of the information. Rather than being a systematic review of all species the 2006 update concentrated on:
The book Threatened Amphibians of the World published in 2008, includes an in-depth analysis of the 2006 updated data. The 2006 updated data was also included in the 2006 IUCN Red List and was made available on the GAA website accompanied by key findings and the updated searchable database (see the top of this page) providing detailed species-by-species information.
Following on from the 2006 update, further updates were made to the amphibian data up until the end of August 2008. Although not a systematic review of all species there were some significant changes implemented in this update. The main changes were:
Unfortunately due to time and funding constraints it has not been possible to update all of the information in the database every year. We sincerely apologise to those people who have sent us many helpful comments that have not yet been included, and promise that these will be our first priority for inclusion in the next update of the data. We also realise there are some newly described species that were inadvertently missed in each update and we endeavour to include these in the next update, as well as species that are no longer considered valid.
The 2008 updated data is incorporated within the 2008 IUCN Red List and is the most recent version of the data. You can search the database (see the top of this page) to see detailed species-by-species information, and also available on this website is the Analysis of Amphibians.
Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., De Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M. and Wheeler, W.C. 2008 The Amphibian Tree of Life, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 297.