Endangered amphibians get help from Minnesota group

A Twin Cities-based conservation organization is playing a big part in a worldwide effort to save hundreds of species of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians from extinction. The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) advises zoos and wildlife organizations around the world on how to create management plans -- not only for species in captivity, but also for animals in the wild.

Earlier this year, CBSG led a meeting in Panama to discuss ways to protect some of the most threatened amphibian species. The plan involves plucking the animals from their native habitat and putting them in so-called "captive assurance" colonies until their habitat can be improved or re-created elsewhere.

CBSG Amphibian Program Officer Kevin Zippel told Minnesota Public Radio's Steven John that amphibians face threats from pollution and habitat destruction, as well as a little-known fungus that is wiping out their populations.

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