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Last month we released Croak: a book of happiness for frog lovers, a book edited by Professor Phil Bishop to raise awareness for the plight of our amphibian friends.

In this month’s ‘Letter from Exisle’ we are honouring Phil’s work and highlighting two of the organisations he worked alongside during his life at the forefront of Amphibian conservation.

Who was Phil Bishop?

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Professor Phil Bishop was born and brought up in Devon, UK, where his keen interest in amphibians began. What followed was a lifetime of achievements in conservation and in highlighting the ground-breaking importance of the humble frog.

Searching for more species of amphibian, Phil travelled the world to places including South Africa, where he discovered and named a new species of frog, Arthroleptella ngongoniensis. Phil’s extensive experience in the study of frogs inspired him to compile the collection of frog-related quotes that is Croak.

Phil’s passing early in 2021 is a loss keenly felt by the international scientific community. Croak now serves as a tribute to a life spent at the forefront of conservation as he sought to deepen our understanding of these vitally important creatures.

Phil was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago, the Co-Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Amphibian Specialist Group, and the Chief Scientist of the Amphibian Survival Alliance. In these positions, he helped to coordinate international amphibian conservation in response to the global Amphibian Conservation Action Plan. His lab group worked on improving methods for frog translocation, discovering new and interesting aspects of basic frog biology, amphibian diseases, monitoring endangered frog populations, and improving environmental education.

To continue Phil’s work and honour his legacy, you can donate to the ASA and ASG below.. 

The Amphibian Survival Alliance

With more than 65 partner organisations around the globe, the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) is the world’s largest collaborative effort dedicated to amphibian conservation, research and education. ASA’s mission is to conserve amphibians and their habitats through a strong, engaged, and collaborative global partnership. Phil worked as ASA’s Chief Scientist from day one, and inspired us all in so many ways to care more about these fabulous animals.

Find out more about the ASA here

The Halliday-Bishop Conservation Library

For many years amphibian conservationist Professor Tim Halliday compiled and maintained open access monthly reference lists relating to amphibian conservation. Upon Prof. Halliday’s passing (1945-2019), Professor Phil Bishop and his Research Assistant, Steven Evans, continued Professor Halliday’s lists. This work was interrupted by the unexpected diagnosis and passing of Professor Bishop in January 2021. The Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) honours their tireless efforts by continuing this resource in partnership with AmphibiaWeb and the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA). It is now renamed The Halliday-Bishop Conservation Library and aims to make relevant amphibian conservation publication information accessible to all.

Find out more about the library and the ASG here

Get your copy of Croak today

Croak is a collection of delightful quotes and gorgeous photographs celebrating the underappreciated beauty of frogs. Many of the stunning, colourful images were taken by author Phil Bishop on his travels around the world. They showcase frogs in their natural habitats, paired with quotes from famous faces such as Cameron Diaz and John Steinbeck. Simultaneously amusing and illuminating, this perfect coffee table book is a celebration of one of the most varied and vibrant species on earth.

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