9 March 2012

Europe Update: Billions of Animals at Risk

Following the conference hosted by Froglife in Peterborough this week, the newly formed European Network for Toads on Roads has issued a statement about the situation facing amphibians due to roads.

Fire salamanders Salamandra salamandra are just one of the species affected by roads
Recognisising the serious threats posed, the statement calls for positive action soon to solve problems and stop potential conflicts before they occur. 

The full statement reads:

“Roads present one of the biggest threats to amphibian survival across Europe.

Habitat fragmentation by existing and developing road networks leads to mass amphibian mortalities, leading in turn to local population extinctions.

Combined with other factors such as disease, habitat loss and climate change, we will lose billions of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders unless coordinated action is taken soon.

Spadefoot toads Pelobates fuscus are another of the species threatened by roads
We need:
• to recruit and support the thousands of volunteers across Europe who are committed to helping amphibians survive
• road construction across Europe to follow cost effective, best practice for amphibian mitigation to avoid simple mistakes
• improved construction on existing road networks to solve issues for amphibians
• more data on the situation in each country to map existing and potential amphibian and road conflicts
• identify hot spots for amphibian mortalities to better implement conservation measures
• shared resources in different languages to disseminate information and educate stake holders
• investment in amphibian conservation to protect these fascinating, precious and protected animals.

With these actions, we can successfully protect a part of Europe’s threatened natural heritage for future generations to enjoy. Biodiversity loss affects everyone, action to prevent it should involve everyone, and everyone will benefit from the positive outcomes.”

The informal network of conservation organisations will be coordinating positive action across Europe to help protect amphibians and other animals, so watch this space for more news.

Some of the delegates at the workshop in Peterborough this week
A big thank you to everyone who attended, contributed and helped to organise the workshop, including sponsors ACO Technologies plc.

Photos: Silviu Petrovan and Lucy Benyon

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