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NZ Proposal Could Drive Threatened Frog extinct

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Zealand PROPOSAL Could Drive Threatened Frog to Extinction
Last Stronghold of the Critically Endangered Archey’s Frog May Get Destroyed

Santa Cruz, CA, April 26, 2010 – The New Zealand government is scheduled today to decide on their recent proposal to remove protections from thousands of hectares of the country’s prime conservation land. If the government's plans go through, the country’s “Schedule 4” lands will be open to mining, and the critically endangered Archey's Frog (Leiopelma archeyi) frogs will almost certainly go extinct.

“This proposed mining activity, could cause the extinction of Archey’s frog, and a severe decline in the Hochstetter’s frog population – a devastating blow to global amphibian conservation” says Dr. Phil Bishop, an amphibian expert from the University of Otago. The Archey’s frog is listed by the Zoological Society of London as the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian species. “New Zealand has an obligation to do everything it can to ensure the survival of these incredible amphibians -- not drive them to extinction,” says Dr Bishop.

Amphibian populations worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and up to 200 species have already completely disappeared in recent years. “Invasive species and an infectious disease called chytridiomycosis are decimating frog populations in New Zealand and worldwide” says Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS. “The Archey's Frog has lost 88% of its population in the last 14 years, and it cannot be bred in captivity, meaning that the government’s proposal -- should it go through -- could banish the species to their permanent and premature demise. With one-third of the world’s amphibian species already on the brink of extinction, this would be absolutely unacceptable”.

Dr. Kriger, whose group is based in the United States goes on to say that “New Zealand has an international reputation as being one of the most beautiful places in the world, and this natural beauty is the source of the tourism industry on which all New Zealander's depend. Removing Schedule 4 protections from New Zealand's prime conservation areas would tarnish the country's image, and cost the nation far more that any short-term gains brought by mining currently protected lands”.

More information on the proposed mining can be found at:
http://savethefrogs.com/nzfrogs
http://nzfrogs.org

ENDS

About SAVE THE FROGS!
SAVE THE FROGS! (http://savethefrogs.com) is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.

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