The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and a US university are working together to develop technology that will help track amphibians with a view to protecting them. The project targets amphibian species (frogs, toads, newts and salamanders) listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered.
Researchers have expressed concern over the rapid decline of frog population in Kenya and Africa in general, citing disease and destruction of natural habitats have been cited as major threats. The situation has been further compounded by lack of information on the species. Data from IUCN shows 1,800 species of amphibians across the world face extinction.
Human activity such as logging and agricultural expansion, climate change and alien species invasion have been blamed for the decline of frog population in Kenya. Poor waste management leading to pollution of water bodies, home to amphibians, has also been contributed to this population.
The first major goal of the project will be to collate information about amphibians in Kenya. This information will be built from existing records. A digital inventory will then be created and updated from time to time.
Using cutting-edge technology to detect the presence of species in the environment, researchers hope to come up with a better documentation method that will enhance the protection of amphibians that live in the soil, water and any other habitats.