Learn more about this Josh's Frogs 2021 Amphibian Conservation Grant Winner, who received $1000 to use towards saving wild amphibians! Zach had a chance to exchange emails with Sander Bauer, the Secretary of Dendrobatidae Nederland. When asked about what this grant would accomplish, here's what he had to say:
Our grant is part of a bigger fundraising effort, aiming to raise € 10K for the ProAves Reserves in Colombia.
Since 2008 we have financially supported Ranita Dorada, the world's first 300 acre nature reserve fully dedicated to amphibians. With your support Dendrobatidae Nederland is able to provide the rangers with much needed on-the-ground materials. This will help sustain several forest management activities such as reforestation in degraded areas, the protection of the frog species Andinobates dorisswansonae and Andinobates tolimensis, and monitoring the reserve's biodiversity in general.
Additionally, the funds will add to the personal safety of ProAves' rangers. During the covid crisis, an increase in social unrest, illegal timber harvesting and land conversion was detected. After attempting conflict resolution strategies, these escalated into violent encounters to the point of gunfire and the loss of human life. Conservation activities in Colombia have always dealt with political tensions and forest encroachment from shady figures. Now, the horrible assassination on G. Cardona highlighted the urgent need for a more secure workflow. By increasing Dendrobatidae Nederland's final donation the ProAves team is able to dedicate more efforts to forest surveillance. This requires investment in essential needs to make sure forest guards are safe and have access to communications and key resources.
Though our description may seem technical, Dendrobatidae Nederland wants to underscore that we consider this fundraiser as more than a donation to the ProAves nature reserve. We are shocked by the violent acts committed against our colleagues and the tangible helplessness that many conservationists face on a day-to-day basis.
The tension between vulnerable habitat and illegal profit-driven agricultural expansion is well known for many years. Whilst ProAves is committed to biodiversity and amphibian conservation, several actors seek to further their political agenda and increase the pressure on conservationists.
Unless world leaders take up their moral responsibility and work hard to factually implement a corporate social responsibility, the forest degradation will not stop. For this, we urge the community to join a civic action group, grow your grassroots mindset and adopt responsible consumption patterns. Today's urgent societal problems require us to do more than fund activities, patrol reserves and safeguard buffer zones. Though all frog enthusiasts and reptile persons can visit our webshop and find out more about this specific donation programme on https://www.webshop.gifkikkerportaal.nl/Conservatie-in-Reserva-Ranita-Dorada
About Dendrobatidae Nederland;
Dendrobatidae Nederland is the Dutch hobby association for poison frogs. Serving over a 1000 members, we provide guidelines on responsible animal husbandry for exotic companionship animals. The association also takes a leading role in disseminating knowledge on animal ethics via a variety of academic and semi-public boards.
Sander Bauer holds a Master's degree in Forest & Nature Conservation from Wageningen University, attempts to make a living as freelance consultant whilst obstructing upperclass nature destroyers. He also likes frogs, volunteers as a secretary for Dendrobatidae Nederland and manages different projects.
On behalf of Dendrobatidae Nederland
Sander Bauer, secretaris
MSc Forest & Nature Conservation, Policy
Wageningen University and Research Center