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Tree Walkers International (TWI) was very excited to start off 2011 by unveiling the Amphibian Conservation Partnership Fund (ACPF), the purpose of which is to provide small grants to programs and people involved in amphibian research and conservation. These grants are funded through the generous donations of members and supporters of TWI as well as events like American Frog Day, NAAC and Microcosm.

The application process is always open (proposal guidelines are fairly simple and can be viewed by clicking the link above). Proposals are reviewed by a committee.

Grant recipients so far include:

Association Mitsinjo (Andasibe, Madagascar)
PROJECT: Ex-situ tadpole diet study
This grant will fund a 12-month ex situ study to identify optimal diets for the captive tadpoles of up to 6 different local frog species. As of 2008, only 23 of the more than 270 species of amphibians in Madagascar have been kept in captivity, with only a fraction of these having ever bred. Data gathered from the results of this study will aid to decrease this gap in husbandry knowledge and benefit future ex situ conservation efforts in Madagascar. In addition, it will also provide an opportunity for Mitsinjo technician to develop expertise in raising various species of tadpoles, helping them gain practical skills neede to maintain captive assurance colonies of threatened species. This grant will directly contribute to building capacity in Madagascar for an ex situ conservation approach should Bd (chytrid fungus) be introduced to the island country.


Atlanta Botanical Garden Department of Conservation Research (Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.)
PROJECT: Groundwater/Cave Salamander Research and Breeding Program
This funding will allow ABG to begin to collect and secure small captive populations of the Georgia Blind Salamander (Eurycea wallacei) and the Dougherty Plain Cave Crayfish (Cambarus cryptodytes) and set up a lab facility at ABG for their captive breeding and study. This research is being carried out in response to the "at risk" status of the Floridan Aquafer system to contamination in which these organisms are found and the extremely restricted access to habitat where they can be studied. Cave divers will be used to collect individuals of the species and, in the lab, their reproductive ecology, growth rate, behavior and longevity will be studied.
 

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Where can I learn more about the Mitsinjo Andasibe project? I have just returned from studying in Madagascar and, sadly, I met one of the people I believe to be working on this project as I was leaving from my stay at Andasibe earlier than expected. I was only able to talk to this person for a few moments and only learned of the cause and the species being bred.
 
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