In a change to our normal timetable this weeks Croaking Science has been replaced by this croak about Save the Frogs Day. Croaking Science will be back on 14th May.
We are joining an international community coming together on Saturday 26th April to celebrate Save the Frogs Day! A day dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of the world’s amphibian species: frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians. You can become part of worldwide efforts to help save our incredible amphibian friends by joining us at the WWT London Wetland Centre, London and Kelvingrove Park & Museum, Glasgow for interactive demonstrations, crafts and pond dipping. These events form part of Froglife’s Dragon Finder Projects in London and Scotland which are funded by Heritage Lottery Fund grants, of £472,500 and £422,400 respectively.
Data compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed that of the approximately 7000 amphibian species found around the world nearly a third were threatened with extinction, and more recent evidence suggests that this may have increased to 41%. More shockingly still, since 1980 nearly 200 species of amphibian have already become extinct! Save the Frogs Day aims to improve the prospects of our froggy friends by raising awareness of this dramatic decline and to inspire people into action to help conserve this amazingly diverse group of animals.
Save the Frogs Day was founded in 2008 by American ecologist Dr Kerry Kriger who was alarmed by the lack of public awareness in regards to amphibian decline. The Save the Frogs website quotes Kriger saying “Our vision is a world in which not a single amphibian species is threatened with extinction” he adds, “When we save the frogs, we’re protecting all our wildlife, all our ecosystems and all humans” a sentiment that we at Froglife agree with.
Amphibians have permeable skin which makes them highly susceptible to changes in their environment. Their absence from a habitat can be an indicator of an unhealthy ecosystem, and can highlight the impact of pollution, habitat degradation, and climate change. The disappearance of amphibians affects the entire food web. It can cause a decline in the abundance of amphibian predators, and an explosion in prey species usually eaten by amphibians – including pest insects that feed on crops, and spread harmful diseases such as malaria. Humans also have a personal stake in amphibian survival. Incredibly, 10% of all Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine have been awarded to research which involved amphibians, research which has led to a cure for peptic ulcers and many other medical advancements.
So hop to it, and help Froglife spread the conservation message by joining us at one of two events running on Saturday the 26th of April. In London, we are hosting a range of activities including ‘decorate a frog’ at the WWT London Wetland Centre from 10am. Paint a frog to look like your favourite UK or tropical species, or let your imagination run wild and conjure up a whole new species altogether! Alternatively, join us at the Kelvingrove Park and Museum in Glasgow where you can get up close and personal with amphibians and their friends by attending one of our pond dipping sessions and other froggy activities from 2pm. At both events Froglife staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, demonstrate the Dragon Finder App to help you record your sightings and tell you more about the work of Froglife and how you can get involved. To find out more visit our website