In May 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! along with the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the Secretary of the US Department of Interior to institute an emergency moratorium on the importation of salamanders into the USA unless they are certified free of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandivorans. In response to this petition, in January 2016 the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) instituted a ruling to restrict the importation and interstate transportation of 201 salamander species, and opened a 60-day public comment period.
On March 13, 2016, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger submitted this official comment in support of the USFWS ruling. In the comment, Dr. Kriger details the potential impacts of infectious diseases on amphibian populations, addresses common misconceptions regarding the ruling, discusses ethical issues surrounding amphibian captivity, and urges for restrictions on the importation and interstate transportation of amphibians.
Ambystoma californiense/tigrinum hybrid, photo courtesy Michael Starkey
Dr. Kerry Kriger is the Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!, a nonprofit organization that has held over 2,000 educational events in 57 countries to raise awareness of the world’s rapidly disappearing amphibian populations. He is also a musician who has been studying, teaching, recording and performing the classical music of northern India on bamboo flute since 1996. Dr. Kriger holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and has traveled to over 65 countries. His nonprofit efforts in western Africa led him to being inducted as Chief of Environment and Development in the remote village of Yawkrom, in the Western Region of Ghana.