The World Congress of Herpetology (WCH, http://www.worldcongressofherpetology.org/) is a relatively young organization as far as august herpetological societies go. It was formed in 1982, the year of the 25th meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (founded in 1958), which itself is a relative youngster when compared to organizations such as the American Society for Ichthyology and Herpetology (founded in 1913) or Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e. V. (originally founded in 1918 under a different name). Despite its youth, the WCH has accomplished much during its relatively short existence. Arguably the greatest accomplishment of the WCH was to provide the venue at the first meeting of the Congress, held in 1989 at Canterbury, UK, where numerous amphibian biologists shared tales of enigmatic declines and disappearances of amphibian study species. Undoubtedly these exchanges sparked the formation of the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force, providing impetus for the establishment of IUCN's Global Amphibian Assessment. This assessment, along with other research, in turn confirmed that amphibians are declining at a global scale and are more threatened than any other vertebrate class comprehensively assessed to date (Houlahan et al., 2000; Stuart et al., 2004).
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The World Congress of Herpetology and Animal Conservation: Excerpts from the 6th World Congress