What would the world be like without frogs? There would probably be more mosquitoes, more hungry birds, fish, snakes and monkeys, and no tadpoles to filter our drinking water. Many frog-loving kids would also be most likely very unhappy.
Sadly, amphibian populations are disappearing worldwide with nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species on the verge of extinction – about 200 species already gone, according to SAVE THE FROGS!, a non-profit organisation in the United States dedicated exclusively to amphibian conservation.
Frogs and other amphibians are threatened by climate change, habitat destruction, use of pesticides, infectious diseases spread by human activity, invasive species and over-collection for frog legs and dissections.
American ecologist Dr Kerry Kriger founded SAVE THE FROGS! in 2008 to protect the world’s amphibian species – frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians – and to promote respect and appreciation for nature and wildlife. Since then, hundreds of events have been held around the world on April 26th to celebrate Save the Frogs Day.
An Australian ‘Save the Frogs Day’ event
The Lakes Hub, an environmental information centre in Milang, South Australia, was one group in Australia to put their place on the map this year to celebrate Save the Frogs Day. More than 150 frog enthusiasts, local primary school students and families took part in the inaugural event.
Visitors learned many interesting facts about frogs and their surrounding habitat, says Louise Mawson, Lakes Hub Coordinator.
“This forum was more about educating people and making them more aware of the different frog species that are in their back yards and surrounding lake system,” she says. “Several local species are listed as vulnerable – a fact which the general public had no idea. Many people will now report sightings of different species and or map positions themselves for future use by authorities.”
Highlights of the day included educational talks by frog experts, interactive sessions with musical instruments, live frog exhibits, information stations on frog care and competitions in photography, pottery and art. There was also dreamtime story telling by an indigenous lady inside a massive inflatable frog!
“Visitors all left the event with a greater awareness and appreciation of the different frog species living in our region,” says Ms Mawson.
For more information about Save the Frogs Day or how to register your event for next year’s celebration, visit SAVE THE FROGS