No matter what your interest–there is probably a dedicated day, week, or month for the cause you are passionate about.
Today is no exception because it is Save the Frogs Day–a new event with passion behind it.
Frogs are amphibians which are one of the most threatened group of animals on the planet.
Today about one-third of the world’s 6,317 species are on the brink of extinction with at least 150 species that have completely disappeared since 1980.
Humans are responsible for the major factors negatively affecting amphibians but most people are not aware of the issues.
Can you name the six largest threats to frogs?
- habitat destruction
- infectious diseases
- pollution & pesticides
- climate change
- invasive species
- pet & food trade
Unless people are herp fans I don’t find that many take an interest in anything other than furry or feathered friends and this can be a problem because the less popular animals usually have vital roles in the environment.
For instance, outdoor cats like to hunt and playing with (and ultimately killing) live birds or frogs which negatively impacts their populations.
In my area, frogs emerge after a good rain and travel across the roads on their way to a pond, stream, or lake location. Many people run them over and never are aware that they have done so.
Spraying weed or bug pesticides is not something people give much thought to either. These pesticides end up in the water and habitat of these critters.
Plus, I am always amazed at how people think they are being eco-friendly and yet will bag trash in plastic bags, buy individual servings of plastic or Styrofoam packaged goods, and think nothing of tossing everything into a dumpster instead of reducing, reusing, recycling, or finding a more earth friendly alternative.
Recently I visited a friend who quit using cat litter and instead is using bird seed and horse feed as litter replacement–but she bags everything in heavy Ziploc bags before sending them off to the landfill!
When you look closer at specific populations of animals it becomes clearer just how they are an intricate part of the larger picture aka “web of life” where all the strands are connected.
Amphibians such as frogs are bioindicators–they are sensitive to changes in the environment and tell us when something is wrong faster than other creatures might.
Frogs also provide a great service by eating vectors that spread disease–such as mosquitos.
Save the Frogs was formed in May 2008 and this year is pushing for people to get involved in the movement to pay closer attention to such species.
What three things can you do to help?
- Don’t use pesticides, find another option.
- Don’t purchase wild caught amphibians as pets.
- Don’t stock non-native amphibians or fish in ponds or steams.
If you would like more information or to get involved in Save the Frogs click here.