I never had any fascination with frogs when I was growing up, Then when I was 20 I visited the rainforests of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. I saw a treefrog calling from the side of a tree, and I was struck by how amazing and primitive it was. I felt pretty lucky to see something so incredible. I spent a lot of time camping out in nature and decided to pursue a career in environmental science so that I could help protect the planet and its wildlife. Since I like hanging out at streams, I decided I should work with animals that live along streams. While deciding between various groups of stream-dwelling animals, I learnt that frogs were rapidly disappearing, so they became the obvious choice for my Ph.D. research project. I flew to Australia and spent four years hanging out with frogs in the rainforest, which definitely confirmed my belief that frogs are the coolest animals! It would be a terrible loss if we lost the sense of connection with nature we feel when we are around frogs. I founded the nonprofit organization SAVE THE FROGS! (www.savethefrogs.com) in order to teach people about the importance of frogs and ways to protect them.
Amphibian populations have been rapidly disappearing worldwide and nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are on the verge of extinction. Up to 200 species have completely disappeared since in recent decades. Frogs and other amphibians face an array of threats from climate change to habitat destruction; pesticide use; over-collection for frog legs and dissections; invasive species; and infectious diseases spread by human activity. Frogs eat mosquitoes; provide us with medical advances; serve as food for birds, fish and monkeys; and their tadpoles filter our drinking water. Plus frogs look and sound cool — so there are lots of reasons to save the frogs!
The rapid disappearance of amphibian populations in recent decades is undoubtedly the most tragic loss of biodiversity we have ever witnessed, and is one of the most serious environmental issues of our time. Fixing a problem of this magnitude requires a major change in how humans relate to the environment, and this begins with our school system. When I was growing up I learned very little about frogs or protecting the environment. By incorporating environmental education into our schools and acknowledging its importance to the future of our planet, we can make a huge step towards improving the health of the planet and the fate of frogs. SAVE THE FROGS! has numerous educational initiatives for teachers and students, including frog art and poetry contests, Save The Frogs Day, and webpages dedicated exclusively to teachers and students with lots of freely downloadable materials. We invite you to check out our website (www.savethefrogs.com) to learn many ways you can get involved and help us SAVE THE FROGS!