Morris Animal Foundation and Revive & Restore team up to support amphibian life

Wild Genomes grant program focuses on environmental loss of amphibians worldwide and seeks research proposals based on genomic sequencing and biobanking

Morris Animal Foundation—an organization that funds research benefiting animal health—and Revive & Restore—a nonprofit supporting the integration of biotechnology into conservation practice—have collaborated to address the catastrophic loss of amphibians worldwide through the Wild Genomes grant program.

“We’re excited about partnering with Morris Animal Foundation,” said Bridget Baumgartner, BSc, PhD, director of research and development at Revive & Restore, in an organizational release.1 “Both our organizations have unique strengths but a shared mission to improve animal health through strong and innovative science.”

Morris Animal Foundation will serve as a funder and manager of Revive & Restore’s grant program, which strives to put the tools of genomics and biobanking into the hands of global conservationists and wildlife managers. Because over the past 30 years, amphibians, (ie, frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts) have experienced significant population declines, the partnership is currently seeking proposals focusing on creating new tools based on genomic sequencing and biobanking of amphibians.1 These resources will allow wildlife managers to make more precise decisions on best helping threatened amphibians adapt to changing environments.

“The needs of critical wildlife species in the face of habitat degradation and climate change are immense, and animals like amphibians often are ignored even though they are among the most severely affected species,” expressed Janet Patterson-Kane, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, Morris Animal Foundation chief scientific officer, in the release.1

“We need some hope right now in terms of achieving measurable and significant improvement for the health and welfare of some of these species, and we see placing high-tech tools into conservation programs for real-world use as a powerful way of achieving this, ” she added.

According to the release,1 amphibian species of special interest are those with ecological significance, strategic conservation value, and/or evolutionary significance. Specifically, there is a need for projects that address genomic understanding of amphibian health associated with emerging or understudied diseases and climate change resilience. Additional realms that may be explored include effects of pollution and habitat loss.

The Wild Genomes-Amphibians call to researchers is currently open, with the anticipation that approved projects will start in 2023. This is among several joint research projects the partnership has in store.

Reference

Morris Animal Foundation and Revive & Restore announce new partnership. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. June 21, 2022. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/partnership-focused-on-saving-amphibians

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