Web edition: May 16, 2008
This rare Ecuadoran frog comes from an unusual family. The eggs of these species don’t release tadpoles, but instead fully metamorphosed baby froglets. And you can name this particular species – for a price. The name you choose will be formally published in a research journal. The winner will also receive the opportunity to tour a major amphibian research laboratory. But if you’re interested, act quickly. The auction ends May 31, and as of this morning had reached $4,000.
Selling naming rights to species appears to be an increasingly
popular fund-raising activity. The latest group to join the
fray is Amphibian Ark,
a joint collaboration of the World
Association of Zoos and Aquariums and two IUCN/SSC Specialist Groups. As the sellers’ names
suggest, these aren’t biologists looking to make a quick buck. Indeed,
To help raise awareness about the plight of frogs and toads,
which are disappearing globally,
The group has identified some 500 amphibian species desperately in need of help. It estimates that funding research on them – and rearing operations where appropriate – will require at least $40 million. Obviously, gleaning even $100,000 per frog-naming auction is only a drop in the bucket. However, the organization hopes the unusual venture will capture the attention of those with really fat wallets.