Seychelles need research to protect amphibians

The endemic Seychelles Frog (Sooglossus sechellensis) one of the species being monitored in the Vallee de Mai. Photo: Seychelles Media.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – Island Conservation Society ornithologist and conservation biologist, Gerard Rocamora, has emphasised the importance of amphibians as part of Seychelles’ environment.

Rocamora said amphibians are increasingly facing global threats including diseases, viruses and global warming.

The countries conservationists and environmentalists in Seychelles have called for a coordinated research approach and healthier management of the island nation’s amphibians.

The issues were raised during the Seychelles Amphibians Symposium recently held at the University of Seychelles (UNISEY).

“Amphibians are as important as everything else in the environment,” said Rocamora.

“This symposium will enable all stakeholders and those involved in conservation to see what has been achieved so far and to decide on the way forward.”

The Island Biodiversity and Conservation Centre of UNISEY brought together locals as well as international participants from environmental conservation groups including the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles, the Seychelles Islands Foundation, the Natural History Museum of London, the University of Wolverhampton and the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology.

The conference saw speakers discussing the challenges they will face in gathering data relating to amphibians as there is limited knowledge of their ecology.

At least 115 island in the west of Indian Ocean is a home for 14 species of amphibians. These include eight caecilians and six frogs.

A video by the Amphibian Ark had revealed that around 40 percent of the world’s amphibians are endangered due to habitat loss, pollution and diseases.

Executive Director of Amphibian Ark, Anna Baker, highlighted that an assessment by environmental protection organisations needs to be carried out identify the various species so action can be taken to safeguard the local populations.

“We look forward to supporting amphibian conservation projects in Seychelles in whatever way we can,” pledged Baker in the video message.

© Bur-JHB – B.M / K.R – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_en