On the benefits of saving frogs

Posted February 27th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Random Frog Stuff

Saving frogs is good for wildlife, ecosystems and the greater community. Saving frogs stimulates creativity, generosity, and service to others, all of which are linked to improved health and happiness. And when you save frogs you get to hang out with amazing amphibians and interesting, dedicated frog lovers. As such I encourage you to increase your frog-saving efforts in 2015 and I challenge you to step up your efforts on behalf of frogs and the planet.
— SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger

Chytrid fungus found in Madagascar frogs

Posted February 26th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: News...about frogs, but not STF!

The “megadiverse” frog communities of Madagascar are at risk after discovery of a potentially deadly fungus
Conservationists worldwide mobilize to address emerging threat to more than 500 Malagasy frog species

The amphibian fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has caused the precipitous decline of frog populations in Central America, Australia, the western United States, Europe and east Africa, has now been detected in Madagascar, according to a new paper released today in the journal Scientific Reports. The paper documents the detection of Bd since 2010 in wild Malagasy amphibians and has spurred conservationists to action in a country that is home to about seven percent of the world’s amphibian species.

“We know how bad this could be, but this time we can still make a difference by preventing the kinds of mass die-offs we’ve seen in other countries,” said Reid Harris, co-author on the paper and director of international disease mitigation for the Amphibians Survival Alliance (ASA). “Together the global conservation community is addressing the emergency at its inception, putting into practice what we’ve learned in the midst of—or even after—extinctions in places like Central America.”

An international team of experts screened more than 4,100 amphibians across Madagascar and confirmed the presence of Bd in five locations across Madagascar. The researchers detected the fungus as early as 2010 in Madagascar’s remote Makay Massif. Now the paper’s authors are working on determining whether the fungus they have detected belongs to the same deadly strain that is threatening to cause the loss of more than 1/3 of the planet’s amphibians.

“Ninety-nine percent of the frogs in Madagascar are only found in Madagascar,” said Falitiana Rabemananjara, coordinator of the Chytrid Emergency Cell in Madagascar and co-author on the paper.

“That means that if the Bd presence in Madagascar is lethal or becomes lethal to frogs, we could lose a significant portion of the world’s amphibian diversity. With an integrative, proactive approach, we are going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”

In November of 2014, the ASA provided financial support for ACSAM2 “A Conservation Strategy for the Amphibians of Madagascar,” the second meeting in the last decade to bring together local and international conservationists to address threats to Madagascar’s amphibians. This year’s meeting focused on developing a plan for this emerging crisis, which includes:
The development of an emergency response strategy for the amphibians of Madagascar. The identification of the Bd lineage(s) and characterization of its virulence. The establishment of a national protocol and permit to collect dead frogs from the field. Building captive assurance populations of priority species to weather the storm.

“The loss of Malagasy amphibians is not only important for herpetologists and frog researchers,” said Franco Andreone co-chair of the Amphibian Specialist Group-Madagascar of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), organizer of ACSAM2 and co-author on the paper. “It would be a huge loss for the whole world. Everyone has a role to play if this mammoth of a conservation project is going to succeed.”

The ASA is continuing to coordinate funding for the monitoring of Bd in Madagascar and is also supporting the development of disease mitigation tools. The ASA calls on conservation-minded individuals to help in these efforts by visiting amphibians.org.

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Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA)
The Amphibian Survival Alliance is the world’s largest partnership for amphibian conservation, formed in response to the decline of frogs, salamanders and caecilians worldwide. Without immediate and coordinated action we stand to lose half of some 7,000 species of amphibians in our lifetimes. The ASA draws on cutting-edge research to protect amphibians and key habitats worldwide, in addition to educating and inspiring the global community to become a part of the amphibian conservation movement. www.amphibians.org

Plastic bottles at California Fish & Game Commission Hearings 

Posted February 20th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Campaigns & Action Center

Should politicians tasked to protect California’s native wildlife be drinking plastic bottled water at publicly televised hearings? Read this open letter from SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger to the California Fish & Game Commission regarding the Commisioners’ use of plastic bottled water at Commission meetings.

Plastic-bottled-water-fgc

Stafford Lehr FGC

Social Media Intern for SAVE THE FROGS!

Posted February 20th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Jobs

SAVE THE FROGS! seeks a Social Media Intern to help us grow our cause, find new supporters and permeate the internet with frog education. Social media platforms may include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, deviantArt or a platform of the intern’s choice. The successful candidate will work directly with SAVE THE FROGS! staff and acquire valuable skills transferable to future nonprofit or for-profit endeavors.

You are qualified for this position if:
(1) You are dedicated to amphibian conservation;
(2) You communicate clearly;
(3) You write well with few grammatical or spelling errors;
(4) You want to learn more about social media and marketing;
(5) You can volunteer two hours per week on average for the next six months for this position.

To apply for this internship, please:
(1) Send an email with subject line Social Media Intern to contact@savethefrogs.com
(2) Attach a single page file concisely summarizing any background you have in wildlife conservation, social media or marketing.
(3) State that you can indeed dedicate two hours per week for six months on a volunteer basis to SAVE THE FROGS!
(4) Include the name and email address of one professional reference who can vouch for your abilities.

Applications are due by March 1st.
Thank you for your interest in SAVE THE FROGS!

Bulldozer frogs

 

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Wins Rufford Foundation Awards for the Third-time

Posted February 18th, 2015 by Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi
Categories: Campaigns & Action Center, Educate Yourself, Grants & Awards, News from SAVE THE FROGS!

Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum for winning an award of £10,000 (US$15,500) as a booster grant from the Rufford Foundation. The award will enable Gilbert and his SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana team to upscale their habitat restoration project within the habitats of Ghana’s Critically Endangered Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua) for the species protection. They will specifically: (1) remove the invasive weed Chromolaena odorata from the species’ remaining degraded habitat; (2) establish community tree nurseries to raise and plant 5,000 native seedlings; (3) field map the spatial distribution of all planted seedlings; and (3) sustain education campaigns for the species’ long-term protection.
The Squeaker Frog is in immediate danger of extinction as only 13 individuals are known to exist, all in an unprotected forest patch in Western Ghana’s Sui River Forest Reserve (SRFR). However, the combination of logging, farming, mining and the invasion of the non-native weed C. 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.
This project is an excellent opportunity to engage our collaborators, both local and international: SAVE THE FROGS! USA (world’s first organisation dedicated exclusively to the protection of amphibians|); Amphibian Survival Alliance (World’s largest amphibian conservation partnership); HERP-Ghana; Forestry Commission; SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana-KNUST Chapter, Giant Squeaker Frog Clubs and local people. The local awareness creation will especially be useful to generate more avenues for community engagement including instilling in the young generation a conservation spirit. We are also in dialogue with logging companies with concessions within the SRFR to delineate critical areas of the species from all logging activities.

Thanks to the Rufford Foundation for funding this project.

 

merged rufford and krokosua

Dr. Victor Luja wins Environmental Education Seed Grant

Posted February 16th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Campaigns & Action Center, Events

In October 2014, Dr. Victor H. Luja won a Seed Grant by Amphibian Specialist Group and the Amphibian Survival Alliance with the Project entitled “Environmental Education for the Conservation of Amphibians and Their Habitat in 5 Rural Communities in Nayarit, Western Mexico“. In November, Dr. Luja performed the first activity of the grant, giving a presentation to Cora children in Santa Teresa, Del Nayar Municipality, Nayarit, México and showing a photographic exposition of Amphibians of Nayarit.

www.savethefrogs.com/mexico

Victor Luja Frogs

Luja4

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana to REPRESENT CONAMA at ATEWA

Posted February 16th, 2015 by Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi
Categories: Campaigns & Action Center, Educate Yourself, Events, News from SAVE THE FROGS!

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s Associate Executive Director, Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi has been selected to represent the Coalition of NGOs Against Mining in Atewa (CONAMA) within the Atewa District. She will work together with A ROCHA Ghana’s representatives to assess and report on progress work in promoting Atewa Range Forest Reserve as an area for:
• The payment of Ecosystem Services
• The development of a National Park
• Community-based eco-tourism and community carbon sequestration projects

The team will also organise joint programmes and projects of mutual benefit to members of the coalition, including visits and exchange of scientific materials on Atewa to promote the reserve globally.
The Atewa Range Forest Reserve, listed as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, is Ghana’s most biodiverse yet most threatened wilderness area. The reserve is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi; a close relative of the world’s largest frog, the Goliath Frog Conraua goliath) now restricted to the reserve. Numerous other amphibian species as well as a diverse non-amphibious flora and fauna including 700+ butterfly species also live in the reserve.
Unfortunately, Atewa Range Forest Reserve has become the recent focus of many international mining companies due to its large deposits of high grade bauxite. Should these companies be granted permission to carry out their mountaintop-removal mining operations, this habitat will be destroyed, affecting local biodiversity and clogging streams and rivers that supply +5 million Ghanaians with drinking water with silt and by-products from mining chemicals; a catastrophe that will be impossible to reverse. There is therefore, a wide consensus among scientists and NGO’s that the reserve should be upgraded to the status of a national park for its permanent protection. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana (STF! Ghana) therefore, joined forces with other environmental NGOs to form CONAMA. Our first task was to prevent the issuance of prospecting licences by Government to mining companies which we have been successful with. The second phase now is pushing government to enlist Atewa Range Forest Reserve as Ghana’s 6th National Park. We subsequently held an international summit on the theme “Atewa Forest a Heritage at the crossroads, What Future?” to come out with a clear road map and strategies for consideration by government, policy makers and the legislature to put in place the necessary legal frameworks to ensure Atewa is upgraded to a National Park status. STF! Ghana’s call up to spearhead this task is an honour done the organisation and we will continue to work with our global partners to ensure the realisation of this goal.
We are grateful to all our global partners for their support in our fight for the creation of Atewa Range Forest National Park and we look forward to many more of such in the coming years.
Please visit the STF! wepage on Atewa to read more: http://www.savethefrogs.com/countries/ghana/atewa.html

 

An open letter to the CA Fish & Game Commission regarding their use of plastic bottles

Posted February 12th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Campaigns & Action Center

Please read this open letter from SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger to the California Fish & Game Commission regarding the Commisioners’ use of publicly-funded plastic bottled water at Commission meetings.

Purling Brook Falls

 

Using your donations as efficiently as possible

Posted January 27th, 2015 by Kathlyn Franco
Categories: News from SAVE THE FROGS!
SAVE THE FROGS! is proud to announce that in 2013 we used over 90 percent of our incoming donations on amphibian conservation programs. That is much higher than the average nonprofit! We’ll have our 2014 financial data posted online soon.

To help continue these programs, please donate and consider setting up a monthly recurring donation. The frogs will appreciate it!

STF 2013 Expenses Pie Chart

Western Toad

Register now for Green Teacher’s Invasive Species Webinars

Posted January 26th, 2015 by Kerry Kriger
Categories: Educate Yourself

Register now for Green Teacher’s Invasive Species Webinars!
Green Teacher webinars provide professional development from some of the most important thinkers in the field of environmental education, and registration is absolutely FREE.
Sign up now to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the following
http://greenteacher.com/webinars/

Invasive Species: Towards a Deeper Understanding
with Lisa Zinn and Jonathon Schramm
Thursday, February 12 from 7:30-8:30pm EST

Invasive species provide an exciting story for environmental educators.  We have a villain (the bad invasives) and a victim (the poor helpless native species). Although this portrayal might capture a student’s attention, what is often lacking are the deeper ecological principles that come in to play. We will explore several myths often presented in the teaching about invasive species, and we explore alternative teaching scenarios that can be used as alternatives to these myths that can help students understand these deeper ecological principles.

Citizen Science Tackles Invasive Species

with Christine Voyer
Wednesday, February 25th from 7:30-8:30pm EST
From creeping vines to munching beetles to pinching crabs, invasive species are on the move. Monitoring the spread and mitigating the impacts invasive species wreak can be daunting tasks for scientists and managers. They need classrooms and communities to help. As students and community members. contribute observations and expertise to invasive species citizen science efforts, they learn about local ecosystems, engage in science practices, and use 21st century skills like collaboration and problem solving. In this webinar, Christine Voyer will share resources and the steps needed to help engage.

Invasive Species Learning Options

with Sue Staniforth
Tuesday, March 24th from 7:30-8:30pm EST
Invasive species are a serious issue world-wide, representing the second greatest threat to global biodiversity after habitat loss, and costing governments and communities tens of billions of dollars in control efforts. Unlike many large scale environmental issues, students and youth groups can usually do something about invasive species and in a hands-on, experiential way. In this webinar, Sue will review a variety of educational strategies and fieldwork planning tools that support young people tackling invasive species locally. She will also highlight some activities that engage students in identifying, surveying and mapping native and invasive species, investigating the impacts of invasive species on local ecosystems, economy, and cultures, and developing effective action projects.

Subscribers to Green Teacher may access the growing archive of 40+ webinars at any time following an event. They may also receive continuing education certificates upon participating in a webinar at no charge. In addition a subsciber has access to 28+ back issues and of course four new issues annually. One year print subscriptions are just $34 CDN, and a digital subscription is just $27.50 CDN. Start yours today http://greenteacher.com/subscribe/

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