Archive for the 'News…about frogs, but not STF!' Category

The Boy and the Frog

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
The Boy and the Frog
By Beatriz Moisset

Photo by Dallas Krentzel, flickr

 Photo by Dallas Krentzel
“Ouch!” cried Arthur, tossing back the rock he had picked up.
A vicious ant was hanging from his little finger. His father comforted him and cleaned the wound. Arthur and his family were in Ecuador. His biologist father taught courses at the University of Quito and collected amphibians.
Arthur loved these field trips. He found living treasures under rocks or fallen leaves. But now, he was more interested in shooting his enemies, the ants, with his water pistol.
Then, he came upon a small pond. Plop, plop, plop! Three thumb-sized frogs jumped into the water to escape him. They kept their round eyes and pointy noses above the surface observing him.
“Dad, come, see these frogs!”
His father approached, ready to gather a handful of them.
“My! This is a new species. I will name it after you, the discoverer.” Arthur’s joy made him forget the ant bite. Later, the frog came to be known to scientists as Atelopus arthuri, and to us as Arthur’s stubfoot toad.
Years later, Arthur saw an article about frogs in National Geographic. There, he read about the perils they faced: habitat loss, pollution, and a fungal disease. The article listed some species that were presumed extinct. With a jolt, he saw the name of his toad.
“Imagine that! My namesake species is gone before me.” Years went by and still no signs of Arthur’s toad. A related species, Atelopus balios, was rediscovered in 2010 after a long absence.
Perhaps, some of Arthur’s toads still remain in some puddle, waiting to be found.
Beatriz Moisset is a biologist originally from Argentina, but has lived in the US for 50 years. Her late husband was the herpetologist, James A. Peters. See more of her writing at:


SAVE THE FROGS! volunteer continues efforts to save frogs in North Carolina

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Fabulous SAVE THE FROGS! volunteer Rachel Hopkins is saving frogs again in North Carolina! Rachel will present a program on the current status and the future of North Carolina’s amphibian species at the Jan. 28 meeting of Save Our Sandhills. Save Our Sandhills invites the public to Rachel’s presentation at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Southern Pines Civic Club, corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Ashe Street. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out this amazing presentation! For more information about the program and to learn more about the efforts of Rachel Hopkins, check out:

Contributed photo of Gov. Pat McCrory signs a bill to add two amphibians to North Carolina’s list of official state symbols on June 26, 2013 as Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, left, and teen conservationist Rachel Hopkins look on.

A deadly salamander fungus

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

See the full article in the upcoming December issue of SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine, order here:

salamander-swab-Bsal-Tariq- Stark

Photo by Peter de Koning


Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, is a recently discovered new member of the chytrid family of deadly pathogenic fungi affecting amphibians. True to the name, B. salamandrivorans affects salamanders rather than frogs, like the more well-known Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, chytrid fungus. This lethal fungus is thought to have originated from Southeast Asia but is now found in Asia, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, spread by the pet trade. According to a Science paper published in 2015 by Yap et al., the largest U.S. ports for salamander import, and therefore the most vulnerable to Bsal introduction, are Los Angeles, CA; Tampa, FL; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; and San Francisco, CA. The U.S. is the world’s salamander hotspot, with 50% of the world’s salamander species.


AmphibiaWeb recommends the following things you can do to protect salamanders:

  1. Avoid buying Asian salamanders until better precautions are in place.
  2. Never release pet salamanders into the wild, including those that you collected yourself and kept in captivity for at least 30 days.
  3. Treat waste water from tanks with bleach before pouring down the drain.
  4. Write your congress person to ask them to support the trade ban.


To find out more, read the most influential scientific articles published to date below:

References compiled by Tariq Stark, writer of the December 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine article on Bsal and blogger at Amphibian Survival Alliance’s blog


Chytrid fungus found in Madagascar frogs

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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

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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.

A thank you video from me to you

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Please watch this video I recorded in the swamps of Congaree National Park, South Carolina earlier this month. Thank you to all our supporters worldwide who have helped us grow SAVE THE FROGS! into a worldwide movement and made 2014 such a successful year for us. We look forward to sharing many successes with you in 2015!

Save The Frogs in Vanity Fair Magazine

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

SAVE THE FROGS! in Vanity Fair Magazine 

Thanks to James Wolcott for highlighting SAVE THE FROGS! in his November 5th, 2014 column in Vanity Fair:
“For the rest of the year, I’m only donating money to SAVE THE FROGS!, Bat Conservation International, The Turtle Conservancy, and School of American Ballet.”

Rana photo coutesy Pcappetto

Let’s Meet Up for the Frogs!

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Are you a frog-lover in the San Francisco/Bay Area? Then you are you are perfect candidate to join the SAVE THE FROGS! Meetup! If you are looking to meet like-minded frog savers, attend some toadally cool events, and save the world, then join our Meetup today!

meetup for frogs

NSPCA Intercepts Dying Reptiles and Amphibians Destined for the Pet Trade

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Media release from the National Council of SPCAs in South Africa:
NSPCA Inspectors responded to an emergency situation on 29 January when – during a routine inspection at one of OR Tambo International Airports cargo holding facilities – an Inspector discovered that an estimated 1,600 reptiles and amphibians were in need of urgent intervention.

The consignment, bound for the United States of America from Madagascar, was left unattended to in the cargo area when flights to the USA were cancelled.  The bad smell coming from the sealed animal crates indicated that many of the reptiles were dead or dying and in need of urgent assistance.

Pet Trade (more…)

Jobs working with Amphibians in Colorado and California

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Johnson Laboratory, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Position 1: Laboratory Research Technician
The Johnson Laboratory is accepting 3-4 qualified laboratory research technicians to assist in the laboratory at the world recognized University of Colorado located in scenic Boulder beginning in May and concluding in August 2014. The primary responsibilities of these individuals will be to perform necropsies on a wide range of amphibian, fish and bird species to identify and quantify macro-parasite infections. This will include (i) isolation of macro-parasites for molecular and morphological vouchers (ii) and use of microscopic photography techniques to identify and document in situ and isolated macro-parasites. In addition these individuals will be expected to assist with daily management of the laboratory and to assist with laboratory experiments. Potential applicants should expect long hours at a microscope. Prior experience with animal necropsy, parasite identification, and laboratory experimentation are required.  Salary will depend on experience and housing will not be provided, however it is easy to find a summer sublease near campus.

Position 2: California Field Technician
The Johnson Laboratory is accepting 3-4 qualified field crew technicians to assist in the field sampling season in beautiful Bay Area California beginning in May and concluding in August 2014. The primary responsibilities of these individuals will be to perform an in-depth field sampling protocol focusing on amphibians, fish and invertebrates within pond systems. This will include (i) macro and micro identification of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and parasites (ii) performing field sampling techniques such as but not limited to: dipnet, seine, visual survey, Bd swabbing, and fishing (iii) and necropsy snail for parasite isolation. In addition these individuals will be expected to assist with daily record keeping and equipment maintenance.  Potential applicants should expect long hours in challenging field conditions. Prior field experience with field sampling and snail parasites identification are required. A valid Driver’s license is also required. Lodging will be provided at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (  Camping is required for this position however there is access to an indoor bathroom including a hot shower, a full kitchen, and internet. Salary will depend on experience.
To apply for either Position 1 (Laboratory Research Technician) or Position 2 (California Field Technician) send an application package that should include (i) a cover letter that states the position you are applying for, previous professional experiences, and why you would like to work for the Johnson Laboratory (ii) a current CV (iii) contact information for three professional references (include email and phone number and (iiii) and potential start date.

Please compile the application package into a PDF (one document) and email to with the position number in the subject line by March 3rd, 2013. Candidates who do not follow the application requirements or apply after March 3rd will not be considered.

Say NO to the Cooroy Broiler Farm!

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Australia: Say NO to the Cooroy Broiler Farm! The proposed Cooroy Broiler Farm is a corporate-owned factory farm that will hold thousands of chickens and it is going to be built on a ridgeline that will directly impact endangered amphibian populations. Run off from the farm will bleed into streams that will pollute the habitat of the endangered Giant Barred Frog and the threatened Cascade Tree Frog. Become informed and learn how to help here:

Giant Barred Frog, Mixophyes iteratus, Australia, Amphibians of Australia, So No to the Cooroy Broiler Farm, Factory Farming, Chickens, Animal Abuse, Animal Welfare,

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