An EDGE species is one that is unusual and distinct from all other species in its group. EDGE stands for Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered which is a bit of mouthful that means they are really special with few close relatives. If we lose an EDGE species we lose a unique, irreplaceable and unusual link in that particular group of animals.
The Zoological Society of London have an EDGE programme where they look at all the species in a particular group and come up with the top 100 EDGE species - essentially a list of how 'important' the different species are. They completed their mammal list last year and have just published their amphibian list. There are over 6000 species of amphibians and the number one EDGE species - the most important amphibian in the World - is Archey's frog (Leiopelma archeyi) from New Zealand. All our other New Zealand native frogs are in the top 100, with Hamilton's frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) coming in at no.17, while Hochstetter's frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri) is at no. 38 and the Maud Island frog (Leiopelma pakeka) is at no 58. It is very important to us New Zealanders that we ensure the continued survival of these frogs so please click here to find out how you can make a difference.
For more information on the EDGE amphibians click here.