Having 500 frogs from each species in “protective custody” would be the minimum needed to ensure proper genetic diversity for breeding.
“Very many amphibian species are no longer safe in nature” because of the chytrid fungus,” he said, comparing the ailment to humans’ athlete’s foot, a fungus which lives on the surface of the skin.
Jorg Junhold, a Waza member, said Amphibian Ark hoped to raise $50m to $60m for the breeding programme.
Junhold, who is the director of the Leipzig Zoo in Germany, called attention to the fact that 2008 was a leap year and that February 29, 2008, would be declared Day of the Frog.
He said: “The outcome of the Amphibian Ark project will be that we will have saved hundreds if not thousands of species from extinction.”
“Chytrid is only lethal at certain altitude and temperature ranges,” he said.
“Unfortunately, where it’s most lethal is where we have the greatest diversity of amphibians.
“That is why we are going to lose between a third and a half of the amphibian species in the next few years.”
Bonner also said that frogs were an important part of ecosystems, being both predators and prey.