What is the Amphibian and Reptile Trust International (ARTI)?
ARTI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a public charity. Our focus is on protecting habitat for amphibian and reptile populations around the world. We partner with landowners, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
How does ARTI work?
ARTI seeks advice from conservation organizations, wildlife agencies, academic institutions, field researchers and others interested in amphibians and reptiles as to identifying important habitat that needs protection. Our land protection selections are based on criteria ARTI developed to help focus our resources on the most significant lands for particular species. We work with landowners on a voluntary basis to determine the best protection tools, including fee acquisition, conservation easements (conservation restrictions in Massachusetts), and management agreements. ARTI seeks out local partners to help manage any protected lands over the long-term.
How does ARTI get its funding?
ARTI is funded by private contributions. At times we seek land protection grants from governments and foundations. Every donation is important to help protect the world’s tremendous diversity of amphibians and reptiles. Donate
What is an amphibian?
An amphibian is a vertebrate (has a backbone) that is cold-blooded and is in the class Amphibia, comprised of frogs and toads, newts and salamanders, and caecilians. Amphibians are characterized by smooth, slimy skin, with a lack of hair, fur, feathers or scales. Most amphibians start out living in water, undergoing a metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult with air-breathing lungs. Some species have evolved to bypass this typical life cycle.
What is a reptile?
A reptile is a vertebrate (has a backbone) that is cold-blooded and is in the class Reptilia, comprised of turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards, worm lizards and tuatara. Reptiles usually have dry skin covered in scales or horny plates. Reptiles breath air with lungs, most species lay eggs although some give birth to live young.
What are the threats facing amphibians and reptiles?
Amphibians and reptiles are facing many challenges around the globe. Habitat loss and degradation continue to be major reasons why many species are losing ground. The conversion of habitat for agriculture, such as palm oil plantations, development, forestry and other uses are eliminating the homes of countless species. Many scientists state that we are facing another mass extinction due to human alterations to the planet.
In addition to habitat loss, amphibians and reptiles are declining from the spread of disease. Specifically, a fungus often called chytrid has spread rapidly from habitat to habitat impacting amphibian skin, usually resulting in death. Climate change is also a contributing factor to declining species and the habitat they need. Mounting evidence is pointing to a host of synthetic hormones, pesticides and other chemicals now found on every continent. Certain species are susceptible to overharvest for the pet trade or human food markets.