New mobile app features the amazing world of frogs

12/19/2011

"Fantastic World of Frogs" mobile app highlights the Save Our Species Program work to conserve amphibians

Gland, Switzerland — The first ever mobile application developed together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Nokia is now available for consumer use and ready to be downloaded from the Nokia Store. The free-for-download app is the result of a partnership between Nokia and SOS (Save Our Species), a global species conservation fund to protect threatened species and their habitats.

The app, "Fantastic World of Frogs," is an image gallery of frogs for the Nokia N9 Smartphone and allows users to view spectacular photos of frogs, discover their habitat in the Colombian rainforest, and learn more about these incredible creatures. Additionally, users can learn about conservation breakthroughs that the corresponding SOS-sponsored project "Protecting and restoring key sites for globally threatened amphibians," in partnership with Conservation International (CI), delivered. The app highlights CI's work with their local NGO partner, Fundación ProAves, in the biodiversity hotspot Chocó of Colombia.

Users of the IUCN Smartphone app can also enjoy the adventures of conservation hero Robin Moore, project leader and Programme Manager of IUCN's Amphibian Specialist Group and amphibian conservation officer at Conservation International. Amphibians are the most threatened group of vertebrates in the world, with over 41 percent threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The goal of the new app is to drive awareness of the plight of frogs and introduce users to the diversity of Colombian frog species.

Nokia is lead sponsor of SOS and, in addition to supporting conservation projects, helps raise awareness of the importance of species protection by the use of innovative mobile technology. SOS aims to build a global coalition in order to halt the loss of biodiversity, and they invite other innovative businesses across all industries to join in the initiative.

Key Issues:

  • "Frogs are sensitive barometers of environmental health," says Robin Moore, project leader and Programme Manager of IUCN's Amphibian Specialist Group. "As a group they are heavily threatened by habitat loss, and combining photography with technology is a fun way of highlighting our approach to protecting critical habitats with a behind-the-scenes look at conservation in action"
  • "Amphibians provide many important services to humans such as controlling insects that spread disease and damage crops — they also form a beautiful group of animals harboring an amazing diversity of colors, making them outstanding ambassadors for wildlife conservation, says Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN's Global Species Programme and SOS Director. "We need targeted conservation to protect these species. Fantastic World of Frogs is an amazing tool that helps us promote amphibian preservation."
  • "We were the first company to join the SOS initiative. We believe that mobile applications offer a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness on environmental issues. This new app is a great way to teach people about the importance that frogs have in the ecosystem," says Outi Mikkonen, Director, Stakeholder Engagement at Nokia

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Materials for the Media

About IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. www.iucn.org

About SOS
SOS (Save Our Species) is a global conservation fund that helps conserve threatened species and their habitats, following priorities identified by the world leading experts in wildlife conservation.
Founded by IUCN, World Bank and the GEF (Global Environment Facility), SOS offers unmatched species expertise and makes grants to the conservation community. The initiative represents an engaging platform for the private sector, offering tangible on-the-ground results from a diverse portfolio of projects. Nokia is the first business partner and SOS is currently looking for more selected companies across industries to pursue win-win partnerships. www.SOSpecies.org

About the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (or the IUCN Red List) is the world's most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of plant, fungi and animal species. It is based on an objective system for assessing the risk of extinction of a species should no conservation action be taken.

Species are assigned to one of eight categories of threat based on whether they meet criteria linked to population trend, population size and structure and geographic range. Species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable are collectively described as 'Threatened'.

The IUCN Red List is not just a register of names and associated threat categories. It is a rich compendium of information on the threats to the species, their ecological requirements, where they live, and information on conservation actions that can be used to reduce or prevent extinctions.

The IUCN Red List is a joint effort between IUCN and its Species Survival Commission, working with the Red List partners BirdLife International; Botanic Gardens Conservation International; Conservation International; NatureServe; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Sapienza University of Rome; Texas A&M University; Wildscreen; and Zoological Society of London.

About the Species Survival Commission (SSC)
The SSC is the largest of IUCN's six volunteer commissions with a global membership of around 7,500 experts. The SSC advises IUCN and its members on the wide range of technical and scientific aspects of species conservation, and is dedicated to securing a future for biodiversity. The SSC has significant input into the international agreements dealing with biodiversity conservation. The SSC consists of more than 110 Specialist Groups (SG), including the Amphibian Specialist Group.

About Conservation International (CI)
Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and 900 employees working in nearly 25 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @ConservationOrg.