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Amphibians are the most endangered group of animals on our planet.

More than 2,000 species of frogs, salamanders, and their relatives are in real danger of extinction. Conservation breeding programs are the only realistic hope for many species at this time, especially those suffering the effects of rampaging diseases such as chytridiomycosis.

Why do they need you?

Did you know that one-third to one-half of ALL amphibian species are threatened with extinction, with more than 120 species already extinct? Frogs play an instrumental role in our environment by eating bugs and therefore keeping the spread of disease at bay.

Operating under several specialist groups of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as well as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the mission of Amphibian Ark (AArk) is to ensure the survival and diversity of amphibian species focusing on those that cannot currently be safeguarded in their natural environments and therefore rely on these organizations for survival. AArk provides species prioritization tools, husbandry training, capacity building, recommendations and guidelines for best practices, communications networks, and seed grants to institutions working with rescue operations, confiscations, long-term breeding programs, and projects to reintroduce amphibians back into the wild when and where it is safe to do so.

How is Zoo Atlanta helping?

Zoo Atlanta played a crucial role in the development, which was formally launched here in 2007. Ongoing since then, Zoo Atlanta has provided support in various ways including advice and expertise, donated staff time, and some direct financial support.


Our Team

Robert Hill

Assistant Curator of Herpetology

Robert Hill has worked on a number of reptile and amphibian research and conservation projects in the southeastern U.S. and abroad. He is currently the Species Survival Plan® Fundraising Chair for Project Golden Frog and is involved in the breeding program in Panama.

Meet Robert

Joe Mendelson

Director of Research

Joe Mendelson has been studying amphibians and reptiles for more than 30 years, concentrating mostly on species in Mexico and Central America. Most of his work has involved systematics and taxonomy, including the discovery and naming of more than 35 new species. Other studies have included phylogenetic studies, ecology, biomechanics, and natural history. He conducts his research at Zoo Atlanta and at field sites across the Americas. He also is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also conducts research and teaches several courses.

Meet Joe

How can you help?

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Simple steps like cleaning up your backyard and local bodies of water, carpooling to reduce pollution, and using green pesticides to reduce toxic water run-off can all help amphibians! They are an indicator species, which means they are sensitive to shifts in our environment and indicate when they are taking a turn.
  • Do not buy wild-caught amphibians as pets.
  • Never release an amphibian into the wild after it has been kept in captivity, as this can help spread diseases.
  • Buy shade-grown coffee. Shade-grown practices are more sustainable and leave more available habitat for amphibians and other animals.
  • Donate to help us save amphibians.

Want to Learn More?

Beyond the Zoo

Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to saving species.

The global decline of species and their habitats makes it clear that we need a multifaceted approach to conservation. Zoos are a critical component of this approach, with a responsibility to be a force that drives action.

View the Report

An ounce of prevention: second chance?

I was quoted recently in an interview as saying, “I never realized I could have so much influence [in conservation]...

Learn More