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Save The Frogs Day: April 25th, 2015

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SAVE THE FROGS! 2009 List of Activities

Return to the main What We Do page

SAVE THE FROGS! was founded in May 2008, and is comprised of one full-time staff member, a Board of Directors, an Advisory Committee, and a team of volunteers. The list below details our activities in 2009, which were accomplished on a total annual budget of only $36,288.

Donate Now!Like what we do? Please support our mission to protect amphibian populations by placing a tax-deductible donation or by becoming an official SAVE THE FROGS! member.

SAVE THE FROGS DAY

Save The Frogs DaySave The Frogs Day is an annual event we conceived and coordinate. The day is intended to raise awareness of amphibian extinctions, and create an interest and appreciation for amphibians, especially among children. The 1st Annual Save The Frogs Day was held April 28th, 2009, and events took place at schools, zoos, and museums in fifteen countries. Approximately 40 scientists gave public lectures on this day. Proclamations declaring April 28th, 2009 Save The Frogs Day were issued by Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia; Mayor Robertson of Vancouver, British Columbia; Mayor Parrish of Manassas, VA; and the Chairman Stewart of Prince William County, VA. To the best of our knowledge, this makes Governor Kaine the highest ranking government official on the planet to officially recognize the amphibian extinction crisis. Save The Frogs Day received considerable publicity, as can be gleaned by a Google search of ‘Save The Frogs Day’, which yields ten pages of results.

The inaugural Save The Frogs Day took place with only four months of planning, a single coordinator (Dr. Kriger), and with only approximately $1,000 in funding. Given appropriate funding and personnel, we are certain that future Save The Frogs Day events will receive widespread political recognition, and will have the involvement of hundreds of scientists and thousands of schools worldwide. We will also involve zoos, museums, and national parks. As such, we see Save The Frogs Day as an extremely effective environmental education tool.

LECTURES ON THE AMPHIBIAN EXTINCTION CRISIS

To raise awareness of the plight of amphibians and to motivate people to take action, SAVE THE FROGS! Executive Director Dr. Kerry Kriger has been lecturing on the amphibian extinction crisis throughout North America this year. During his presentation to adults, Dr. Kriger discusses the six primary threats to amphibians and explains how they affect various groups of amphibians. He also discusses the necessary actions that must occur in order to prevent further amphibian declines and extinctions, including ways that average citizens can help. Dr. Kriger gives a separate presentation "The Wild World of Frogs" to children. The goal of this presentation is to get kids interested in amphibians, and to give them an introduction to environmental conservation.

Poison Dart FrogsIn 2009, Dr. Kriger gave 42 presentations to a total of 1810 attendees. These lectures have taken place at universities, elementary schools, businesses, community groups, national parks and at other nonprofits including the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, California Academy of Sciences, Boston Museum of Science, National Wildlife Federation, Defenders of Wildlife Headquarters, Portland Audubon Society, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Town Hall Seattle, REI Corporate Headquarters, Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, Yellowstone National Park, University of Colorado, British Columbia Institute of Technology, the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the New England Wildlife Center. We are currently editing film recordings of the lectures, and will post several of the lectures in their entirety on YouTube.

Charlottesville Lecture Frogs

FREE COURSE AT SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE

Latin America is home to nearly half of the word’s amphibian species. In the last two decades however, the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has decimated frog populations throughout Central America and the Andes. It is of high importance that Latin American scientists are capable of conducting chytrid research, but few of these scientists are knowledgeable in the laboratory techniques necessary to detect the fungus.

qPCRIn October 2009, SAVE THE FROGS! in conjunction with the Herpetological Circle of Panama, offered a free 5-day class at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City. The course, entitled "Instruction and application of quantitative PCR molecular techniques for the study of amphibian epidemics", was attended by 25 scientists from Panama, Colombia, and Costa Rica. This course was taught in Spanish by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder & Executive Director Dr. Kerry Kriger, and provided attendees with all the skills necessary to perform chytrid detection techniques in their own laboratory. This course effectively doubled the number of scientists on the planet knowledgeable in these techniques.

SAVE THE FROGS! has made all detection protocols, slideshows and supplementary materials publicly and freely available at http://savethefrogs.com/chytrid/qpcr.html. We plan to offer this course again in Bogota, Colombia in late 2010.

Getting non-native trout out of Sequoia Kings Canyon

The Yellow-Legged Frogs were once the most abundant frog in California, but have disappeared from over 90% of the lakes it once inhabited, in large part due to the introduction of non-native trout, which are voracious predators of tadpoles. When the National Park Service requested comments from the public as to whether they should remove the trout from 84 of the lakes in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Save The Frogs organized a last-minute campaign...and got 707 people from 11 countries to send letters to the Park Superintendent urging the Parks to remove the trout and save the Yellow-legged Frogs. These letters constituted an astounding 97% of the comments received by the Park Superintendent! The Park Service is still deciding their course of action, but we have a good feeling our input will save some Yellow-Legged Frogs! We'll keep updates on this story on our action page.

Public Service Announcements

In an effort to increase awareness of amphibian extinctions in the general public, and especially among legislators and lobbyists, SAVE THE FROGS! created a 4x6’ educational poster that is currently visible at 11 locations in the streets of Washington DC. ClearChannel Outdoor granted the advertisement space free of charge. We also created a 7x11' poster highlighting the effects of climate change on Yellowstone National Park’s declining frog populations. This poster is currently up in 5 major airports: Denver, Chicago O'Hare, Chicago Midway, Detroit and St. Louis.

Climate Change

SAVETHEFROGS.COM WEBSITE

The SAVE THE FROGS! website (www.savethefrogs.com) is our first line of contact with numerous people worldwide, including many who have no prior knowledge of amphibian declines and extinctions. Thus we strive to make the website a valuable educational resource for scientists and non-scientists, adults and children. The website currently holds approximately 100 pages of information on amphibians, and has been viewed by over 195,000 people. Our website allows us to make use of modern technologies (videos, slideshows, interactive forms), while keeping our costs far lower than if we were dependent on traditional printing and distribution methods.

Multi-Language Project

As amphibian declines are occurring in locations where the inhabitants do not speak English, it is necessary to provide our website in many languages. We have nearly completed translating the website into Portuguese (http://salvemossapos.com). Brazil harbors the most species-rich amphibian fauna on the planet, and amphibian populations in both Portugal and Brazil are under significant threat from habitat destruction, infectious diseases and invasive species, but there previously existed no Portuguese websites devoted to amphibian declines and extinctions. Upon completion of the Portuguese website, we will begin translation into Spanish (http://salvalasranas.com).

Educating Businesses & Politicians

We are currently working with businesses and politicians to:

(1) Significantly reduce the number of frogs that are transported worldwide for use as pets, food, bait and/or dissections, as these trades are known to contribute significantly to the spread of infectious diseases;

(2) Ensure the removal of non-native trout from ponds formerly inhabited by the critically endangered Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog.

MEDIA COVERAGE

The mass media provides an excellent venue for disseminating information on amphibian extinctions without having to pay advertising fees. In 2009, Save The Frogs has given 41 interviews (11 Radio, 9 Television, 21 Print). Many of the articles and interviews generated by these interviews can be found at www.savethefrogs.com/in-the-news. SAVE THE FROGS! will continue to seek as much media coverage as possible to spread the word about the plight of frogs and how frogs are an indicator of the environmental calamities that affect all living things, including people. SAVE THE FROGS! is also developing programming ideas for media outlets such as Discovery, PBS, and National Geographic.

Radio:
National Geographic Weekend (nationwide on XM Public Radio; hosted by Boyd Mattson)
Univision Radio (Puerto Rico, in Spanish; hosted by Susan Soltero)
KBOO (Portland, OR; in Spanish)
KBOO (Portland, OR; in English)
WTOP (Washington DC)
KGNU (Boulder, CO, hosted by Shelley Schlender)
KQED (San Francisco)
CHUM Radio (Vancouver, British Columbia; hosted by Nikki Renshaw, August 2009)
CHUM Radio (Vancouver, British Columbia; hosted by Libby Herman, April 2009)
Conscious Discussions (British Columbia, hosted by Lillian Brummet)
WCHV 1260 AM (Charlottesville, VA)

Television:
ABC7 (San Francisco; hosted by Wayne Freedman)
King 5 News (Seattle, WA; hosted by Gary Chittim; segment aired three times)
CTV Canada (hosted by Rob Brown)
CTV (Vancouver, BC; hosted by Maria Weisgarber)
ATV (Vancouver Island, BC)
Georgia Straight (Vancouver, BC; hosted by Carlito Pablo)
WCAV-TV (Charlottesville, VA)
CBCtv (Vancouver, BC; Featuring SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee member David Wong; hosted by Lisa Johnson,).
Shaw TV's "The Express" – (Vancouver, BC; Featuring SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee member David Wong; hosted by Peter Kim).
Channel 10 News, (Melbourne, Australia, April 28, "Hoppy frog day")

Print:
Scientific American (article by John Platt)
Washington Post (article by Valerie Strauss)
The Oregonian (front page of Oregon’s largest newspaper; article by Abby Haight)
National Geographic Website (article by Editor David Braun)
E-Magazine (article by Jennifer Santisi)
Mongabay.com (article by Jeremy Hance)
The NOLS Leader (article by Libby Gadbois)
Grist.org (article by Ashley Braun)
Parksville-Qualicum Beach News (Vancouver Island; article by Fred Davies)
Bozeman Daily Chronicle (article by Natasha Collins)
Wildlife Art Journal (article by Todd Wilkinson)
Douglas County Newspress (Denver, CO; article by Michelle Sample)
Globe and Mail (national distribution in Canada; article by Wendy Stueck)
Sammamish Review (Sammamish, WA; article by Chris Huber)
The Animal’s Voice Magazine (article by Laura Moretti)
Expat Living (Singapore; article by Deborah Goldman)
Massachussets Audubon Society (article by Gayle Goddard-Taylor)
Treehugger (article by Sara Novak)
Herald-Sun, (Melbourne, Australia May 1 "Helping frail frogs bounce back")
The Age, May 18 ((Melbourne, Australia "A jump to the future")
The University of Melbourne Voice (May 11 "Conserving our urban amphibians")

GRANTS TO EARLY-STAGE AMPHIBIAN BIOLOGISTS

There are only 2,000 full-time amphibian biologists in the world, yet there are 2,000 threatened amphibian species, and there is an extreme lack of funding for amphibian conservation research. Many young scientists choose the next step in their career path based on whether or not grant money or scholarships exist in a given field. As such, SAVE THE FROGS! will disburse grants and scholarships to highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate (Ph.D., Masters) researchers. These awards will fund important amphibian conservation work, and will provide young scientists incentive to pursue careers in herpetology. We recently gave out our first award, a $500 Conference Travel Grant to enable UCLA Ph.D. student Kris Kaiser to present the results of her research at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Portland, OR. As more funds become available, we will begin awarding large grants and scholarships, at a rate of approximately one-tenth of our annual revenues. SAVE THE FROGS! is uniquely qualified to disperse such funds, as our Board of Directors and Advisory Committee are comprised of many of the top amphibian biologists in the world.

AWARDS RECEIVED

SAVE THE FROGS! was granted the 2009 Democracy In Action Green Grant Award for our past accomplishments and our potential to create positive societal and environmental change. The grant provides us with a free year of Democracy In Action’s Salsa Commons software platform, which facilitates our ability to rapidly and effectively petition legislators and business executives.

INFORMATIONAL TABLES

In an effort to educate, motivate and mobilize a wide sector of our society, SAVE THE FROGS! has begun hosting informational tables at public events. Recently, volunteers ran tables at the 1st Annual Sustainable Sammamish event (Sammamish, WA), the Joint Meeting of Ichthologists and Herpetologists (Portland, OR July 23-27), the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (Fairfax, VA); at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), and at the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science. In 2010 we plan to return to these venues, as well as host tables at the GK-12 conference, the National Science Teacher’s Association national conference, and depending on the extent of our volunteer base, at an array of concerts and festivals.

Frog Table

EDUCATIONAL POSTERS AND FLYERS

SAVE THE FROGS! has created several educational posters and regularly distributes these freely to schools, most of which lack visible information on amphibian extinctions. We have also created 4x6” informational flyers that explain the threats to frogs, the importance of frogs, and which list various ways people can reduce their impact on the environment so as to benefit remaining frog populations. We have freely distributed hundreds of posters, and nearly 20,000 of these flyers, in schools, museums, zoos, and business places.

FROG POETRY AND FROG ART CONTESTS

In 2009, SAVE THE FROGS! held the 1st Annual Frog Poetry and Frog Art Contests. The goals of the contests were twofold: (1) to engage sectors of society not often involved in environmental affairs (namely poets and artists); and (2) to enable non-science teachers (most of whom would otherwise be unable to teach their students about frog extinctions) to educate their students about amphibian extinctions and assist the students in developing an appreciation for frogs, a prerequisite for their interest and involvement in environmental protection. The 1st Annual Frog Poetry contest received 414 entries from 401 contestants in 14 countries (age range 6 to 73). The 1st Annual Frog Art Contest received 394 entries from 10 countries. SAVE THE FROGS! is currently compiling the best entries from both competitions into a book of frog poetry and art that will be used to raise funds for our amphibian conservation efforts.

GREEN LEAP FORWARD

SAVE THE FROGS! co-hosted the Green Leap Forward, an event inspired by Save The Frogs Day that is aimed at increasing the Vancouver Asian-Canadian community’s interest and involvement in environmental affairs. The event featured environmental films and lectures on frogs, and was attended by 200 people.

PUBLICATIONS

SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger and Board Member Dr. Jean-Marc Hero’s article “Chytridiomycosis, Amphibian Extinctions, and Lessons for the Prevention of Future Panzootics” was published in the October 2009 issue of the scientific journal EcoHealth. Dr. Kriger also wrote a chapter in “MalAmp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians”, a book in press with Arts Catalyst that is aimed at increasing interest in environmental protection among artists and art connoisseurs. Dr. Kriger’s article 'The Disappearance of Frogs: Why We Should Be Very Worried' was published in the online hournal EcoHearth, and is available at http://bit.ly/4r1CqS.

PEER REVIEWS

The peer-review system ensures that scientific manuscripts are not published without thorough outside assessment, and that projects are not funded indiscriminately. In 2009, Dr. Kriger performed peer reviews of funding proposals for the United States Army and the Rufford Foundation, and of manuscripts submitted to Wildlife Research, Diversity and Distributions, EcoHealth, Herpetological Review, and BMC Ecology.