Credits: C. de Rooi
Award winner 2014
Amphibians
Location: Ghana

Caleb Ofori Boateng

Caleb Ofori Boateng started his study biology in Ghana in 2006. The record of amphibian species occurring in the country was incompletely documented at that time. Therefore, Caleb made his own accurate and comprehensive list of all amphibians in Ghana, making him the first biologist in Ghana to research amphibians. When he began his study, Caleb started a small amphibian conservation interest group at his university and in 2011 HERP Conservation Ghana officially became an NGO. Headquartered in Kumasi Ghana, Herp-Ghana spearheads the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in West Africa through partner institutions in other West African countries.

Vision and Approach

During Caleb’s fieldwork, he found species that had never been described before, and, even more surprisingly, he rediscovered amphibian populations that were thought to be extinct. One of these amphibians was the Togo slippery frog, which was believed to be extinct for nearly four decades. In Ghana, people generally trust information that is provided by religious centres. To protect these species and to convey a strong conservation message, Caleb developed ‘conservation evangelism’. By speaking in existing religious programmes, his conservation message is better accepted by locals. ‘Conservation evangelism’ turned out to be a magic formula and is successfully mobilizing a wave of change!

Impact of the Future For Nature Award

“The recognition from the Future For Nature Award has given me respect among my peers and in conservation circles. I am using this new recognition to bring all reptile and amphibian organizations in West and Central Africa together to form one big and stronger conservation organization that will shape the way conservation is done in the Afrotropics.” – Caleb Ofori Boateng

  • The recognition from the Future For Nature Award has given Caleb respect among his peers and in conservation circles. He uses this new recognition to bring all reptile and amphibian organizations in West and Central Africa together to form one big and stronger conservation organization that will shape the way conservation is done in the Afrotropics.
  • The financial support of the Future For Nature Award made it possible to make informative nature videos of very rare frog species and Ghana’s biodiversity in general to make the public appreciate the value of nature.
  • The financial support is also used to plant trees in order to restore the tree cover and habitat of different species living in Ghana.

“It is extremely difficult to excite interest in amphibian conservation in West Africa, but Caleb’s leadership skills are such that he has achieved the impossible, working especially with faith communities. The Togo Slippery Frog, notable for its large size, is very close to extinction and was thought to have disappeared before Caleb rediscovered it. His work could save this remarkable species from extinction.” – 2014, Simon Stuart, International Selection Committee