Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green

Kermit and his amphibious amigos aren't cutting the evolutionary mustard:
Scientists will meet this weekend to launch an action plan aimed at stemming the global decline in amphibians. About a third of frog, toad and salamander species are facing extinction; threats include fungal disease, pollution and habitat loss. The Washington DC meeting is expected to call for the establishment of a large-scale captive breeding programme.
If you don't have two hands on your wallet yet, it may be too late. Claude Gascon, chair of IUCN's (World Conservation Union) amphibian group, explains how he is going to stay employed for the next ten years:
"The price-tag for all this is going to be enormous - tens of millions of dollars per year for at least a decade . . . But when you break this down and look at what different stakeholder groups can do - one thing we need for example is more capacity in zoos around the world to run these captive breeding programmes, and that's something that governments might be quite willing to address."
Did I mention that Claude is also senior VP for regional programmes with the charity Conservation International? I think Claude probably likes programmes.

Evidently, Darwinian evolution is just fine in theory, but in practice...