Aside from the UN’s four top picks, 2008 is also the Year of the Frog. “Largely our campaign is targeted at the zoo community,” says Kevin Zippel, program director for Amphibian Ark, the international conservation organization behind this year. Because of this target audience, the perceived wider reach of the UN was unnecessary for their campaign. Amphibian Ark has highlighted 500 frog species threatened with extinction. The year of the frog campaign is aiming to raise $50 million to try to save them — a huge job. “We have pretty lofty goals,” says Zippel, adding that the year will be a success even if just one of those 500 species is saved.
Zippel thinks the wider populous isn’t so blinkered that it only sees UN-backed campaigns as credible. Celebrity helps raise profiles, he says, and The Year of the Frog has Sir David Attenborough as its patron. The campaign also has Kermit the Frog’s backing, he says.