Frogs are the most threatened group of species on Earth. These creatures of popular folklore are teetering on the brink of extinction and unless we act NOW to save them, South Africa too will start losing species.
Frogs are not just potential princely suitors. These water-loving amphibians are extremely important in our ecosystems by providing food to a wide array of other animals and consuming vast quantities of insects. They are also important bio-indicators due to their sensitive skins and bi-phasic lifestyles.
Unfortunately, habitat destruction, increasing levels of pollution in freshwater systems, disease and changes in climate, are starting to have noticeable effects on amphibian communities globally. Despite their crucial role, amphibians are currently experiencing massive population declines. 32% of all species are Red Listed as threatened – compared with 12% of birds and 23% of mammals. In South Africa, 29% of our frog species are listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. The fact that one third of a group of animals could potentially disappear should be an important warning to humans that our global environment is in jeopardy and that urgent conservation action is crucial.
In an effort to bring awareness to these very important and beautiful creatures we will be holding the first SAVE OUR FROGS DAY ON THE 1ST OF DECEMBER 2012
The aim of the Save our Frogs Day is for any interested organisations and individuals to carry out their own activities that highlight amphibian conservation and generate increased awareness.
Save Our Frogs Day will:
- Raise awareness about the global amphibian crisis and the importance of wetlands in sustaining critical amphibian populations
- Create a platform for citizen science
- Raise funds for conservation activities for frogs and wetlands
- Have fun in the name of frogs!
Despite their benign nature, and environmental significance, frogs are received with mixed social attitudes. Part of the conservation solution is to educate people about the significance of frogs. We need you to join us on Save Our Frogs Day to help bring this critically important suite of species back from the brink of extinction. Proceeds to go to the EWT Amphibian Conservation Programme.
In order to participate in the Save Our Frogs Day, organise your own event or join in one of the events list below. Contact: Jeanne Tarrant on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Endangered Wildlife Trust
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
- Johannesburg Zoo
- Mount Moreland Conservancy
- New Germany Conservancy
- National Zoological Gardens (Pretoria)
- North-West University (African Amphibian Conservation Research Group)
- South African Wetland Society
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- uShaka Marine World
- Western Leopard Toad Committee
Planned Save Our Frog Day Events:
What to bring to outings:
- Rainwear/warm clothes
- Mozzie repellent
cool froggy facts:
- There are approximately 6,771 described species of amphibians, including 5,966 frogs, 619 salamanders and 186 caecilians (source: Amphibia Web)
- Amphibians are the oldest land vertebrate and have been around for about 350 million years.
- The world’s smallest frogs are the Paedophryne from Papua New Guinea (10 mm) and the largest is the Goliath Frog from Gabon which can grow up to 30 cm long and weigh over 3kg.
- Frogs use their skin to breathe and only have rudimentary lungs.
- Toads are a type of frog.
- The Platanna can live up to 30 years in captivity.
- Skin secretions from Australian Tree Frogs (Litoria) can completely inhibit HIV
Ways you can help frogs at home:
- Build a frog pond in your garden and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at who moves in this summer!
- Use indigenous plants in your garden.
- Avoid use of harmful chemicals and pesticides in your home and garden.
- Drive cautiously on wet nights to avoid squashing frogs as they move to and from breeding sites.