BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth had a whole episode dedicated to amphibians in May 2013. You can hear the episode on iPlayer here.
Froglife’s Sam Taylor pondered one of the comments made during the show.
“Kermit has a lot to answer for” was one of comments on Costing the Earth earlier in 2013. The accusation was that frog conservation is not taken seriously due to the perception of them as comic, silly animals – thanks to Kermit.
I think that people can be encouraged to engage with animal conservation of the species that feature in popular culture, and know conservationists who love Kermit. However, why do so few people know frogs are more threatened with declines and extinction than mammals (like Baloo and Dumbo) or birds (like Sam the Eagle and Road Runner)?
Perhaps it’s because amphibians are underrepresented after Kermit, and the links between the funny frogs and the real ones aren’t spelled out. Frogs don’t often feature on wildlife documentaries or ‘serious’ books. They are a bit stuck with a cute, childish image rather than being seen as beautiful, mysterious or as vulnerable as other animals are.
There’s a need for us all to supplement the cute and funny representations of frogs with more information about the threats they face.
- Sam’s review of popular science book The Frog with Self Cleaning Feet can be found on our giveaways page here.
- We are examining the perception of amphibians and reptiles and what can be done to raise awareness about the threats they face through our Scale of the Problem project. Find more about the Scale of the Problem here