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Amphibians are an important component of the global ecosystem, as indicators of environmental health and contributors to human health. They watched the dinosaurs come and go, but today almost half of them are themselves threatened with extinction. Addressing the amphibian extinction crisis represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity.
The global conservation community has formulated a response in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, and an integral part of that response is the Amphibian Ark (AArk), in which select species that would otherwise go extinct will be maintained in captivity until they can be secured in the wild. Without immediate captive management as a stopgap component of an integrated conservation effort, hundreds of species could become extinct.