5,000 EUR for the fire salamander
It was a beautiful surprise delivered by Email to Frogs & Friends: zoo director Barbara Jantschke informed us that Augsburg zoo decided to give us 5,000 EUR from its conservation fund in support of our work for the local fire salamander with Citizen Conservation.
Species conservation supplement for Citizen Conservation
The money comes from a one-euro voluntary supplement on zoo admission fees, which is committed to conservational work in Germany as well as abroad. The Augsburg zoo was happy to earn 331,000 of these conservation-euros in 2020, despite corona. Now they share it with the fire salamander.
The fire salamander needs this support
Citizen Conservation had every reason to include the fire salamander into its conservational breeding program in 2018: the popular amphibian has been hit hard by a deadly disease from Eastern Asia, a fungal infection named Bsal (short for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans). Wherever it appears, salamanders perish. According to the current state of knowledge, outdoors mortality rate is 100%.
Keeping in human care is the only option
The good news: infected animals can be treated and specimens may be preserved under human care until a solution is found. This is the plan of Citizen Conservation. The CC network of experts and zoos is working on a concept to preserve a maximum number of local varieties of the fire salamander for posterity – a giant project of national scope. Government funding will bee needed to secure survival in the long run, but the donation from Augsburg zoo is of truly great help to get things going right now. Much obliged!
Our trailer about the salamander devourer and what we can do help the fire salamanders: