Ecosystems around the world rely on reptiles and amphibians. They play a crucial role as part of the food web—as predator and prey—and, sometimes, a role in pollination and dispensing seeds. Frogs provide a good sign of ecosystem health due to their sensitivity to environmental change. As the environment around the world changes, frog populations are in rapid decline, and reptile and amphibian species are under threat.
To help protect and understand Australia’s unique reptiles and amphibians, the Australian Amphibian and Reptile Genomics Initiative has been established. The team will work closely with AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) for data movement. The initiative will also benefit research beyond Australian shores. Many researchers around the world turn to Australian species to provide exemplary examples, not found elsewhere, of phenomenon central to their studies.
Submitted by Jane Gifford