Following on from five years coordinating ZSL’s EDGE Amphibians Programme, I started a PhD in 2011 with the aim of investigating ways of improving the impact of amphibian conservation programmes. Developing and optimising strategies to mitigate extinctions of amphibian species presents many opportunities for improving current and future initiatives. I aim to address two key areas currently impeding effective interventions within and across international amphibian conservation programmes, namely: (i.) Investigating the relationship between perceived ‘success’ in species recovery programmes and scientific research on those species, and (ii.) Evaluating the degree to which current conservation programmes have been effective in reducing threats and extinctions.
(i.) Investigating the relationship between perceived ‘success’ in species recovery programmes and scientific research on those species.
Taking a wide variety of existing international amphibian conservation initiatives as case studies, I will analyse the degree to which conservation science underpins these programmes, both in terms of published and unpublished materials, and will ascertain the methods employed to disseminate project findings, identifying factors that promote and impede this process.
(ii.) Evaluating the degree to which current conservation programmes have been effective in reducing threats and extinctions.
I will critically compare two programme evaluation techniques, and use these methodologies to search for both project-specific and unifying indicators of ‘success’ across amphibian conservation case studies, looking at aspects such as project components, management strategies and return on investment analyses.
I hope this research will help meet the needs of conservation practice and priority-setting, aiding mitigation of the amphibian extinction crisis through partnership with the Amphibian Survival Alliance and constituent bodies such as the Zoological Society of London, IUCN, Amphibian Ark and the Amphibian Specialist Group.
Professor Richard Griffiths: DICE, University of Kent
Dr. Ben Collen: University College London.
Dr. Sarah Durant: Institute of Zoology, ZSL
Dr. Freya St. John: DICE, University of Kent
Dr. Samuel Turvey: Institute of Zoology, ZSL
Zoological Society of London
Professor Jonathan Baillie
Isaac, N.J.B., Redding, D.W., Meredith, H.M.R. & Safi, K. (2012) Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation. PLoS ONE. In press.
Collen, B., Turvey, S.T., Waterman, C, Baillie, J.E.M., Meredith, H.M.R. & Isaac, N.J.B. (2011) Investing in Evolutionary History: implementing a phylogenetic approach for mammal conservation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences 366(1578): 2611-2622.
Black S. A., Meredith, H.M.R. & Groombridge, J.J. (2011) Biodiversity conservation: Applying new criteria to assess excellence. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence 22(11): 1165-1178.
Turvey, S.T., Meredith, H.M.R. & Scofield, P.R. (2008) Continued survival of Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) in Haiti. Oryx 42: 611-614.