"The difference between success and failure in saving Ghana's frogs will come down to how much support the outside world provides."
--SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger
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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is West Africa's first nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to amphibian conservation, and is the first international branch of USA-based nonprofit SAVE THE FROGS!. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is to protect Ghana's amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.
Africa is fraught with both social and environmental problems, and Ghana is an excellent location from which to initiate SAVE THE FROGS! programs that we plan to spread far and wide across the African continent. Over 80% of Ghana's original rainforests have been cleared and a third of the country's amphibians are under threat, yet Ghana has only two professional amphibian biologists (SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum and Caleb Ofori). In Ghana, there exists only a single copy of the Field Guide to West Africa's Amphibians, the only guide to Ghana's amphibians -- a book that is no longer in print.
With your support, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana can exponentially grow the number of Ghanaian amphibian biologists; create a new national park in the biodiverse Atewa Hills, which is currently under threat from diamond, gold and bauxite mining; institute programs to replace the frog meat trade and illegal logging with sustainabale, environmentally-friendly sources of income; and produce an up-to-date field guide and other educational materials that will go to every high school in the country. Plus a whole lot more!
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana needs your financial support to spread the SAVE THE FROGS! message across the country...and outwards across the African continent. Please place a tax-deductible contribution to SAVE THE FROGS! USA and then send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org asking us to direct the donation towards SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana.
(1) Inspire youth and students to pursue environmental careers.
--Motivate and engage pre-existent university and high school environmental groups to take part in STF! campaigns; if no such groups exist and/or if we find dedicated students', have them start a STF! Chapter. Chapter organizes campus STF Day event and holds a frogging field trip for students each semester; organizes frog presentations every couple months.
--Get frog education into elementary, middle and high schools.
--Create an up-to-date field guide to Ghana frogs
--Provide 100cedi awards to assist undergrad frog projects
(2) Create a new National Park at Atewa Hills.
The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is a hotspot of biodiversity and is home to the endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi). Unfortunately, the reserve is under constant threat from mining interests and illegal logging, and is not managed as a wildlife reserve. We aim to have the land permanently protected as the Atewa Hills National Park, which would be Ghana's sixth national park. This will benefit both the frogs and the local people, whose livelihoods will improve both from having intact ecosystems nearby and by having the long-term economic benefit of the ecotourism that the Atewa Hills National Park will attract (rather than the short-term benefits that come from unsustainable mining and logging -- most of which accrue to outsiders anyway). Please download this The Need To Protect The Atewa Hills From Mining PDF!
(3) Reduce the consumption of frog legs
In particular, we will focus on communities that regularly eat Pyxicephalus edulis, Hoplobatrachus occipitalis and Conraua derooi.
(4) Educate mining, logging and cocoa companies and see that legislation is enforced
-Provide companies a list of recommendations.
-Work with government agencies to improve enforcement of regulations.
-Logging companies should increase re-planting; fill in potholes, which serve as death traps for tadpoles; maintain proper distance from riparian areas; implement erosion control; avoid endangered frog areas
-Mining: keeping heavy metals out of the water
-Cocoa farms: pesticide use and reducing the percentage that is monoculture.
(5) Institute an Endangered Species Act for Ghana
Ghana currently lacks legislation that explicitly protects endangered wildlife.
(6) Hold annual Save The Frogs Day event(s) and seek legal recognition of the day.
(7) Reduce pesticide use surrounding critical frog habitat.
--Acquire information, which is currently lacking in Ghana's scientific community, e.g. does Ghana government maintain records of amounts of each pesticide imported into the country annually?
--Get Atrazine banned.
--Educate farmers about the hazards of pesticides and alternatives.
8) Create electronic resources such that savethefrogs.com/ghana is the primary source of amphibious information throughout West Africa, and use communications technology to build a large movement of people interested in protecting amphibians.
"I think it's a great thing you guys have going on."
-- Jennifer Lillibridge
Ghana is home to 84 known amphibian species: 78 frogs, 5 toads and a caecilian. We've got photos of 18 species up on our Frogs & Toads of Ghana page. Check them out!
The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is Ghana's most biodiverse -- and most threatened -- wilderness area. There is wide consensus among scientists and NGO's that the reserve should be protected as Ghana's 6th national park: the Atewa Hills National Park. Located near Kibi, halfway between Accra and Kumasi, the Atewa Range Forest Reserve is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi and numerous other amphibian species, as well as a diverse non-amphibious flora and fauna live in the reserve. Mountaintop removal mining, illegal logging and collection of frogs for food threaten the forest's amphibians, so we are working to turn the land into Ghana's sixth National Park: the Atewa Hills National Park. Learn more and find out how you can help!
"You have my support. Congratulations for this excellent work you are doing in West Africa and in particular in Ghana! Best wishes."
--Dr. N'goran Germain Kouame, Ivory Coast
These awesome shirts are 100% organic, all proceeds go to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, and we can ship them internationally. Order them here.
Ghana's critically endangered Krokosua Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua) is in extreme danger of extinction. The Krokosua Squeaker Frog is evolutionarily distinct from any West African amphibian, but unfortunately the species now has only 13 known individuals surviving. These frogs are restricted to the Sui River Forest Reserve in Western Ghana. Extensive logging and illegal mining and farming activities in the reserve have degraded and fragmented the frogs' habitat and facilitated the invasion of Chromolaena odorata, a non-native plant species that is a major threat to biodiversity throughout the tropics. Chromolaena odorata forms dense thickets that impede the frogs' movement and it releases chemicals into the soil that prevent the growth of native plants. Additionally, C. odorata depletes the density of leaf-litter that the Squeaker Frogs utilize for predator escape, breeding activities and protection from desiccation. The combination of mining, farming, logging and the invasive C. odorata have contributed to the decline of the Squeaker Frog and prevent its recovery from the brink of extinction.
With your support, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will restore the Squeaker Frog population to a viable state. This initiative will also benefit many endangered and endemic amphibian species whose range overlaps that of the Krokosua Squeaker Frog, including Phrynobatrachus villiersi (Vulnerable), P. annulatus (Endangered) and Hylarana occidentalis (Endangered).
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana seeks $20,000 for this project. With these funds, we will train and utilize local volunteers to remove the non-native Chromolaena odorata from approximately 20 ha of the frogs' critical habitat areas. We will establish nurseries to raise seedlings of three native tree species (Terminalia superba, T. ivoriensis and Ceiba pentandra) and replant in previous C. odorata infested areas to prevent its regrowth, while establishing vegetation corridors. With the involvement of local people, students and our volunteers, and supervised by professional foresters we are targeting an estimated 2,000 of the native trees (100 seedlings/hectare). These project initiatives (invasive weed removal and reforestation) will add to our past efforts of improving the Squeaker Frog's habitat conditions.
We will also launch a local amphibian education program to increase awareness among stakeholders and the general public, utilizing many of the methods that have enabled SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana to spread its message locally and globally in such a short time. Currently there are few professional amphibian biologists in Ghana. On top of benefitting the Giant Squeaker Frog, this project will enhance the capacity of undergraduate students and ecologists in amphibian conservation and thus broaden Ghana's base of amphibian expertise.
Less than 14 individuals of the West Africa's Krokosua Squeaker Frog are thought to survive
Kumasi, Ghana, October 23, 2013 - After four years of intensive search for the Krokosua Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua), a team of scientists from the nonprofit SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana found the critically endangered frog at Ghana's Western Region Sui River Forest Reserve. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum, who led the nine-member team that made the important discovery, says "we have looked forward to this moment for the last four years. We are excited about the discovery as this has given hope that we can save the Squeaker Frog from extinction." Students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology's Department of Wildlife and Range Management assisted on the expedition.
The Krokosua Squeaker Frog was first identified in 2002 from single specimen that research scientists found at the Krokosua Hills in Western Ghana. Despite active searching to find more frogs it was not until 2009 that another Krokosua Frog was found, when 14 individual frogs, its highest abundance ever, were recorded at the Sui River Forest Reserve. What was most spectacular about this week's finding was that the frog was recorded at an entirely new location and was at the highest point of the Sui Hills, 610m above sea level. The frog was an adult, indicating that a breeding population may be surviving at this location.
However, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Program Coordinator Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi, who was on the team, laments that the Sui Forest faces severe threats from logging, mining, farming and invasion of the alien Devil Weed, popularly called Achempong weed. She says that the weed invasion and the habitat destruction activities may be the reason the Squeaker Frog is not getting the chance to recover from the brink of extinction. Gilbert Adum states there is every need for government and conservation organizations to ally with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, which is dedicated exclusively to conservation of Ghana's amphibians, to ensure the continued survival of the Giant Squeaker Frog. The team is also calling on the Forestry Commission and government to immediately delineate and protect the Squeaker Frog's habitats permanently from any form of exploitation. Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder of SAVE THE FROGS! USA, is calling on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to officially classify the species as Critically Endangered.
This project received funding from the Conservation Leadership Programme, the Rufford Small Grants Foundation, the German-based Stiftung Artenschutz (Species Conservation Foundation) and SAVE THE FROGS! USA. The researchers would also like to acknowledge the support of Professor William Oduro, Head of KNUST Wildlife and Range Management Department and the undergraduate students who formed part of the team.
Thanks to John Platt for featuring SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's Squeaker Frog success in this Scientific American article.
SAVE THE FROGS! Executive Director Gilbert Adum and team educating the students of Sefwi Wiaso Senior High School.
Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum for winning his second Rufford Small Grants award of £6,000 (US$9,000). The award will enable Gilbert Adum and his SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana team to restore and protect the habitats of Ghana's Critically Endangered Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). The Squeaker Frog is in immediate danger of extinction as only 12 individuals are known to exist, all in an unprotected forest patch in Western Ghana's Sui River Forest Reserve. However, the combination of logging, farming, mining and the invasion of the non-native weed Chromolaena odorata are causing the species to decline and preventing its recovery from the brink of extinction. Within an area of 20 hectares, Gilbert and his team will remove the invasive C. odorata which impedes the frogs' movement and replant fast-growing native trees, and launch an education program to increase conservation awareness among local people and the general public.
On Gilbert’s 1st Rufford project, apart from large surveys that he and his team conducted for the Squeaker Frog and other frogs, they successfully trained local stakeholders in general amphibian ecology, survey and conservation strategies. The project also established that the deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis is absent from Ghana. In a paper co-authored in PLoS ONE (Penner et al. 2013), the work contributed to a large pool of similar, c. 800 samples, showing that the disease is also absent from the whole of West Africa (western Nigeria to Senegal). In addition, they organised Ghana's first ever training workshop on amphibian diseases held in the capital, Accra. With focus on chytridiomycosis, participants from different organisations and institutions across the county received relevant training on amphibian diseases surveillance, monitoring and prevention strategies. Thanks to the Rufford Small Grants Foundation for helping save the Giant Squeaker Frog!
Please be sure to read SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Co-Founder Gilbert Adum's essay: "SAVE THE FROGS: Opportunities and challenges for the third world".
When we formed SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana in September 2011, there were only two professional amphibian biologists in the country. Since then we have made huge progress increasing universities' involvement in amphibian conservation to create more amphibian experts in Ghana:
-- UCAES: University authorities want most of their students to work on frogs at Atewa next year.
-- KNUST: Ten students are doing their projects on frogs this year;
-- University of Ghana, Accra. Our masters student is finishing collecting her data on frogs at Atewa.
-- University of Cape Coast: We are assisting their masters student on a frogs' project; she is being trained by the University to be a lecturer on amphibians.
-- UDS: Students are asking for areas where they can study frogs for their projects. We are conducting a workshop for them and providing advice.
Hamdia Mahama of (University of Ghana) and Sandra Owusu Gyamfi (SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana), perhaps West Africa's very first female amphibian biologists.
Miss Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is on an official visit to the UK where she meeting with conservationists, students and the general public to share with them the plight of West Africa's amphibians. She is giving presentations and forming collaborations both private and government organisations to create more awareness and to provide tangible solutions to save amphibians. Sandra's three week visit began with a presentation at the Students Conference on Conservation Science at Cambridge, and a speech at the 67th Annual Meeting of the British Herpetology Society. She has more talks planned: at the University of Nottingham, the Zoological Society of London and the Harrison Institute. Each visit will also be used to raise funds for the organisation and to contribute towards her travels, feeding and accommodation.
Conference to Protect Ghana's Atewa Hills Forest Reserve
On November 18th and 19th 2013, the Coalition of NGOs against the Mining of Atewa (CONAMA) held an international conference in Accra, Ghana. The conference was on the theme "Atewa Forest, a Heritage at a Crossroad. What Future?". SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is an active member of the coalition and this summit aimed at ensuring the unprotected Atewa Forest is turned into the Atewa Hills National Park. There were petition signings to seek the government's commitment towards banning the mining of this biodiverse area. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana ran an informational table to showcase our good works done so far to promote the cause of Atewa. The group CONAMA is made up of nine local NGOs: SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, A Rocha Ghana, Forest Watch Ghana, WACAM, Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis, IWWA, Conservation Alliance, HERP Ghana, Rainforest Friends Ghana and RAFFS/G. The conference was open to all interested groups and individuals from both Ghana and overseas.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana held a multi-day Amphibian Conservation Workshop at the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) in Bonsu, where we have a university chapter dedicated to protecting the Atewa Hills, home of the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi). The purpose of the workshop was to build the capacity of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's members and other ecologists in the protection of Ghana's vanishing amphibians. The three-day training workshop dealt with conservation strategies for the Togo Slippery Frog and the critically endangered Krokosua Squeaker Frog (Arthrlopetis krokosua); establishing and running a SAVE THE FROGS! Chapter, and how to organize Save The Frogs Day events. Through PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, demonstrations and documentaries, we introduced the participants to various ways to engage their peers and community members in the protection of amphibians. On the third day of the workshop, some participants visited the home of the Togo Slippery Frog at the Atewa Hills to assess for themselves the plight of the endangered frog. They also assisted in setting up a junior chapters of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana at local schools in Kwabeng and Kibi.
The workshop was led by SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum, Programmes Coordinator Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi and Dr. Peter O. Sanful (Dean of Programmes at UCAES). We are grateful to Stiftung Artenschutz, British Ecological Society, The Rufford Small Grants, and SAVE THE FROGS! USA for providing the funding and logistics to run this workshop.
Ghana's frogs deserve all the best of the world's attention! Today at the Calgary Alberta Barrier Lake Field Station, Canada, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum gave a talk to 35 conservation leaders from 19 countries around the world. Gilbert highlighted the plight of Ghana's frogs and in particular that of the critically endangered West Africa Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). The Giant Squeaker Frog is on the verge of disappearing as only 12 individuals are known to exist, all in an unprotected forest patch in Western Ghana's Sui River Forest Reserve. Fortunately, the Conservation Leadership Programme generously awarded us funds to protect the frog and to train Gilbert in conservation techniques during a three-week program program in Canada. Gilbert spoke to the world's conservation leaders to spread awareness for the plight of the Ghana's fragile environment, giving hope to the Giant Squeaker Frog. More importantly, we know the general Ghanaian public will help to SAVE THE GIANT SQUEAKER FROG! And, remember there is only one place in the world that has this Frog, and that is Ghana. The Frog is our national heritage! Proudly Ghanaian!
On the 21st of June, Atewa (the only home to the Togo slippery frog) celebrated its first ever Save The Frogs Day. It was on the theme "THE NEED TO PROTECT THE ATEWA FOREST FROM MINING". The Atewa Range Forest Reserve is also Ghana's most biodiverse area which holds the key to many unsolved scientific problems yet, it is the most threatened wilderness area. Events were held at Kwabeng, the Atewa district capital. In attendance were about 150 participants including Atewa school children and teachers. Representatives from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) gave a talk on the importance of the Atewa Forest. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana team heightened the need to protect the Critically Endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi) and the entire Atewa biodiversity from both local small-scale mining and Government's interest in mining the forest. The local people learnt more about the value of their own forest, which had been demarcated by their ancestors to provide goods and services for the people of Atiwa and mankind. Kids also entertained participants to some (froggy) azonto dance, the latest dance craze in Ghana.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will travel to Ghana to meet with politicians, tribal leaders, and academics in order to further SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana message of amphibian conservation. Mr. Starkey will give presentations and grow Ghana's network of students, academics and biologists interested in amphibian conservation efforts.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will be featured on the TV Breakfast Show and will discuss the creation of the Atewa Hills National Park and about the importance of amphibian conservation efforts in Ghana.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will give a presentation about amphibian ecology and conservation to the Ghana Forestry Commission.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will lead a workshop on field methods in ecology and amphibian monitoring protocols with students of the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES).
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will meet with patrons and students leaders of the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) to discuss amphibian declines and environmental stewardship. That evening Michael will be featured on the University's radio to discuss the importance of the creation of Atewa Hills National Park.
In celebration of the 5th Annual Save The Frogs Day, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will be holding educational events in Accra, Kumasi, Atewa and the Northern Region. SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Chairman Michael Starkey will take part in the celebrations. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will lead a workshop on amphibian monitoring protocols at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST).
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will give a presentation about amphibian ecology and conservation at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST). This event is free and open to the public.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will be featured on the Focus FM radio show to talk about Save The Frogs Day events in Ghana.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey met with members of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, tribal leaders and fishermen in frog-eating areas. That evening Michael was featured on Nabiina Radio to discuss how overharvesting of amphibians for bait and frog legs is contributing to a decline in amphibian populations.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will give a presentation about amphibian ecology and conservation at the Kumasi Zoo.
Photo is Michael with SAVE THE FROGS! Academy student Samuel Antwi.
SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey will meet with students of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana student chapters at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) to discuss amphibian conservation efforts in Ghana.
Learn all about the threat to the Atewa Hills at this public forum!
In Ghana, Save The Frogs Day will be celebrated under the theme "Now is the Time to Save Ghana's Frogs!". SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is organizing events to cover the two geopolitical regions of the country, Southern and Northern Ghana. Learn all about the events on the Save The Frogs Day events page.
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger spoke at Kpetoe Middle School (east of Ho in the Volta Region near the Togo border), a rural middle school on September 9th.
I delivered an hour-long presentation on frog conservation to the 200 undergraduates in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology's Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana was officially introduced to the public for the first time (to loud applause!) and we announced the formation of a SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana chapter at the university.
Gilbert told the students about the status of amphibian research in Ghana:
We had an enthusiastic question & answer session:
I knew the students were excited about SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana because they REALLY wanted SAVE THE FROGS! wristbands after the talk:
A note from a student who attended my presentation:
"Hi Mr. Kriger, I want to personally express my appreciation to you for the good job you are doing to save humanity and more importantly our environment. I have now an in-depth knowledge about our activities that have the potential to affective other lives around us. I would be glad to play any advocacy role in championing the cause of safe environmental practices that will not endanger any species on planet earth. It takes people like you and your partners to awaken in us the very existence of our being and the crucial role other species play to make our lives worth living. Although I have not yet registered as a member of the Ghana branch of Save The Frogs International, I can proudly say I am a member already! I wish you safe journey every where you go. Once again, congratulations.
Christopher Yaw Dumevi
Department of Silviculture and Forest Management, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology"
Logging -- both legal and illegal -- is one of the primary threats to Ghana's wildlife. On September 22nd, Dr. Kriger delivered a presentation on frog conservation to 40 scientists at the Forestry Institute of Ghana (FORIG), the government's largest scientific research organization.
"Hello Kerry, That was a brilliant and informative presentation!"
--Bright Kankam, Head of Wildlife, FORIG
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Founders Kerry Kriger and Gilbert Adum spoke about the importance of frog conservation to the members of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in Kibi. Kibi sits at the base of the Atewa Hills, Ghana's most biologically diverse -- and threatened -- wilderness area. The members were very pleased to hear about our plans to create a new national park in their backyard, and train them in new job skills such as beekeeping and mushroom farming, so as to increase their access to food and reduce their need to illegally log the forest and eat the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frogs.
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger will give a presentation on frog conservation from 12p-1p. The inaugural meeting of the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana KNUST Chapter will be held from 1p-2pm. Refreshments will be served. All students and professors are welcome to attend. Location: Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources Auditorium
The KNUST Chapter of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will be holding a meeting at 1pm at the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources theatre.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum will be talking to Directors and Staff Members of the Forestry Commission (Kumasi), Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC) and Kumasi Zoological Gardens, about frog conservation. The Chairman for this occasion is the Head of RMSC Wildlife Division, Mr. Christian Fummey-Nassah Atsu. Talk begins at 11am. The general public is invited.
Venue: Kumasi Zoo Conference Centre.
On the evening of September 19th, Gilbert and Kerry went to the campus radio station Focus 94.3FM and got interviewed about SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. At the end of the interview Gilbert gave his phone number to listeners so they could call him if they had questions or wanted to help out: 40 people called in the first 24 hours! You can download an mp3 of the interview here.
Thanks to Jeremy Hance of Mongabay.com for featuring SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana in his article "Saving Ghana's vanishing frogs".
Please read this article about SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana written by Gilbert Adum. The article appeared in the November 2011 issue of FrogLog, the newsletter of the Amphibian Specialist Group. Left-click the article to get the PDF.
The most significant threats to Ghana's amphibians come from large scale mining and logging, which have contributed to Ghana losing over 80% of its primary forest in the last century. Over-harvesting of frogs for food and fishing bait is a problem in the northern region, and unregulated pesticide use is a problem throughout the country. Public perceptions are also a problem, as frogs are associated with snakes and thus are not generally appreciated. On a positive note, the Ghanaian people are extremely receptive to the SAVE THE FROGS! message, so we are certain that with your support we can diminish many of these threats.
Mining occurs both on a small-scale level by locals and on a large-scale level by multi-national corporations. Mountaintop removal mining is a huge threat to frogs as it not only destroys forest, it also contaminates streams with sediment and harmful chemicals.
The Upper Guinea Rainforest once covered about 50% of Ghana (the northern half of the country is savannah). The vast majority of Ghana's virgin rainforest is gone now, having been destroyed by large-scale logging beginning in the mid 20th century. Of the 256 forest reserves in Ghana, over 80% currently have logging activity. Only 10-20% of Ghana's primary rainforest remains, and thus significant tracts of frog habitat have disappeared.
Ghana lacks proper regulations to protect riparian corridors (the important frog habitat nearby to streams). As the riparian habitat gets destroyed, frogs lose their homes, and soil erosion degrades the water quality and destroys the habitats of tadpoles, fish and benthic macroinvertebrates (e.g. mayflies and caddisflies). Logging companies often destroy tracts of forest and then leave without re-planting trees to replace what they have taken ("cut-and-run"). We seek money to buy seedlings and involve the local schools in helping to plant trees surrounding critical frog habitat that has been degraded by irresponsible logging. While Ghana does have some logging regulations and guidelines in place, there is an extreme lack of enforcement. To make matters worse, corruption is rampant and many officials look the other way if the price is right.
On top of legal logging by multi-national corporations, there exists a logging mafia in Ghana: organized crime paying villagers to remove timber from nearby forests. Small mills are set up in the forests and people paid to walk out of the forest carrying chopped timber on their heads. The timber then gets sent away to Accra and beyond.
If you like endocrine disruptors, then you'll absolutely LOVE Atrazine! Yes, even in Ghana you can purchase Atrazine on the street. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will be working to get Atrazine off the market in Ghana, just as SAVE THE FROGS! is working towards a federal ban in the United States. Atrazine is not the only problem pesticide in Ghana: Glyphosate (the harmful ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup) is heavily advertised in Kumasi, which is home to many pesticide shops.
Atrazine not strong enough for you? Try new and improved Atrazila!
University biology students dissect frogs and toads in Ghana. As there are no biological suppliers in the country, each student is required to go out and catch their own frog or toad. Thus virtually all dissection specimens in the country are wild-caught and the catch is completely unregulated. Learn all about the problems with frog dissections here.
Frog legs are a problem in many parts of the world. The SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana UDS Chapter at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana is working to end the over consumption of frogs in Ghana. Here is a November 9th, 2013 update from the chapter:
"Today we visited the frog market at Kumbugu in the Northern Region of Ghana. We met the frog hunters who took us through what they do. They are basically farmers but hunt for frogs during the lean season of farming when they do not have much work on their farms. We were taken through the processing of the frogs before selling: the frogs are either smoked or fried and sent to the market for sale. The frogs are harvested from ponds and dams around the village. We were also taken to the harvesting site where we saw how they catch the frogs. Before harvesting starts, a ritual is performed that is believed to help in successful hunting. The water is disturbed and the frogs run hiding under grasses at the bank where they are trapped and captured. Harvesting is done during the early mornings and by afternoon the frogs are ready for the market. A single hunter can catch up to about 50 frogs on a good day, and so if there are many hunters you can imagine how many frogs would be captured in a day. We gave the hunters some education and sensitization on the importance and the need for us to conserve the frogs that are in our locality. SAVE THE FROGS! UDS Chapter with support from SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana aims to give alternative livelihoods and protein sources to these people so that the frogs can be saved. SAVE THE FROGS! SAVE THE WORLD!"
Many of us in the western world take recycling for granted: if we care enough to recycle, we can usually find a recycling bin. In Ghana, recycling -- and indeed the entire reduce, re-use, recycle philosophy -- is virtually non-existent. Paper and aluminum get thrown into the trash, fueling the need for more logging and more mountain-top removal bauxite mining. Plastic bags and bottles get tossed onto the side of the road or burnt in roadside piles that pollute the air with unhealthy black smoke, contributing to global warming and unhealthy air pollution. This drives the need for new plastic bags and bottles, which are created from oil, much of which comes from the Nigeria's Delta state, which has been laid to waste by oil companies. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's university chapters will be working with their universities to build the infrastructure for recycling (e.g. recycling containers, removal and transportation to the recycling depot), and will be educating students about the importance of recycling.
Soccer is huge in Ghana...HUGE! If someone is watching TV, it's probably a soccer game. In communities surrounding critical frog habitat, we hope to fund SAVE THE FROGS! soccer teams: all we need to do is pay for the jerseys (which would bear the awesome logo on the right), shin guards and balls, and pay a minimal stipend for a coach. This is one of the best ways to raise awareness and appreciation for frogs in the communities of highest importance to our frog conservation efforts. We can get these soccer teams created for less than a few hundred dollars; if you can help fund one, please contact us or place a donation. Thanks!
Thanks to GetGear.org for donating this soccer gear!
Every undergraduate student in the Department of Renewable Natural Resources at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology is required to complete a semester long research project in order to graduate. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana has committed to awarding a minimum of three awards each semester to talented undergraduates conducting amphibian research projects. The projects will be supervised by STF! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum and will help train the student in amphibian conservation techniques, while gathering important data that STF! Ghana seeks. Awards will be in the amount of 100 cedis ($66), which pays the undergraduate's stipend and associated research costs. Your financial support would be great, please contact us if you would like to sponsor a student!
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's KNUST Chapter is the world's first official student chapter of SAVE THE FROGS!. Based at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, the chapter's mission is to protect the campus' twelve amphibian species and to support the nationwide efforts of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. The chapter's inaugural meeting was held September 29th, 2011. Learn more here.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's UCAES Chapter is Ghana's second student chapter of SAVE THE FROGS!. Based at the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) in Bonsu, Ghana, the chapter's mission is to work in collaboration with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana to create the Atewa Hills National Park, for the protection of the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi) and other biodiversity. The chapter's inaugural meeting was held December 18th, 2012. Learn more here.
Kwaku Boakye is a young artist in Kumasi who recently graduated from the University, majoring in art. He makes really amazing African art on cloth/acrylic. I suggested he attempt some frog art; the picture below is the first round he came up with. I have commissioned him to draw 30 Ghanaian frog images and we will sell for these for $35 (plus standard shipping) to raise funds for SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. Every piece is 100% unique, with no reprints in existence. Please order your art today!
These kids deserve a world with cool frogs...please donate to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana and we'll make sure that world exists.
Ghana's scientists and conservationists lack many of the standard tools (techonology and materials) used on a regular basis by their counterparts in developed countries. What they do have is often severely outdated or falling apart. If you can donate your used goods or purchase new items, and ship them to SAVE THE FROGS! Headquarters in California, we can ship them to Ghana. View our Wish List here.
Please help us spread the word by sending our press releases to any interested journalists you know.
September 23rd, 2011: New NGO 'Save The Frogs! Ghana' Formed To Protect Ghana's Disappearing Frogs
Gilbert Adum is the Executive Director and Chief Ecologist of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. Through his work with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, Gilbert aims to not only prevent the extinction of Ghana's endangered frogs, but also to spread the message of frog conservation and environmental protection across the entire African continent. Learn more about Gilbert here. You can email Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please post any of the icons on this page on your website, linked to http://savethefrogs.com/ghana - Thanks!
Being the first international branch of SAVE THE FROGS!, we hope that SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana serves as a model and as inspiration for amphibian conservationists throughout the world to develop their home country's internal frog saving capacities, with an eventual goal of having SAVE THE FROGS! branches throughout the world. We know the ball is rolling already:
"Hi Kerry, I have checked your photos of activities in Ghana. I appreciate your hard and energetic working capacity. I think it is an important achievement for us to raise the voice of amphibian conservation. As like Ghana, I wish to get you in Bangladesh to gear up the amphibian conservation education in Bangladesh. That's why I wish to collaborate with Save The Frogs and submit some grant proposal for funding. I am awaiting your positive response and dreams to create a new era in amphibian conservation education program in Bangladesh.
Thanks, Nurul Islam -- Coordinator of World Animal Day"
"Dear Mr. Gilbert, I am Mr. Ignas Safari, a beginning herpetologist from Dodoma University, Tanzania. I have received good news from Dr. Kerry Kriger of the initiative that you are taking to enhancing the conservation of amphibians in Ghana. I commend your efforts and wish you all the best of luck in your endeavours to save these amazing creatures that are rapidly disappearing. We need to create awareness to our people and governments to value and conserve frogs so that we can curb or rather reduce their rate of extinction. I hope SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will provide a good lesson to other countries in Africa to value and conserve amphibians. With the kindest regards, Safari Ignas"
"Congratulations for having International Chapters of the "Save the Frogs" in Ghana. We wish that we have one such in India."
-- Professor Krishan Kumar Sharma; Head of Department of Zoology
MDS University in Ajmer, India
"Felicitations Dr Kriger. I am an avid fan of your Save The Frogs campaigns, and have continuously been a recipient of your mails. I read of your campaign in Ghana and was impressed with your global initiative. Ghana just like some West African countries like Nigeria, which is my country, need much awareness on the campaigns which you and your distinguished team are carrying. I am asking that you come to Nigeria so that the ignorant killing of frogs through environmental degradation and agricultural exploitation will be adequately handled.I am looking forward to hearing from you."
-- Oniso-Okonikumen Sampson, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger travelled to Ghana in September 2011 to implement SAVE THE FROGS! programs in the country. Upon meeting Gilbert Adum, it quickly became clear that there was a huge need for SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, and that the timing was perfect for forming the new organization. Within a week, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana was officially announced, a Board formed, a plan of action devised and a new era of amphibian conservation in Africa had arisen. We've started the job of saving Ghana's frogs, now we need your help to ensure a safe future for them!
Dr. Kerry Kriger crossing from Ghana (right bank) to Ivory Coast (left bank). With your help SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana's message will spread and take hold in Ivory Coast and across the entire African continent.
Former SAVE THE FROGS! Vice President Jonathan Tourzan in Kumasi, Ghana February 2012 with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum (far left); KNUST Chapter President Henry Howard (2nd from right) and other frog lovers.
"I'm very happy to have come across your website, it's nice to see
people in the world still trying to work towards conservation! Expect some support from me in the near future!"
--Jordan Donini, Crocodile Biologist, Florida Gulf Coast University
Thanks to GetGear for supporting the SAVE THE FROGS! Football Clubs!
Thanks also to these amazing donors:
Carmen Elisa Bonilla-Jones
César Pérez Cerviño
Chase and Adrienne George
Cornelius De Haan
Eddie Two-Rivers Phillips
Experience Music, Inc
Michael & Gloria
Stephanie Anna Gour
Tara Maguire Knopick
Thomas W. McDuffie
Email us at:
Or you can send postal mail to:
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana