Victory for California's Native Amphibians!
Dear SAVE THE FROGS! Supporter,
I am pleased to announce that the California Fish & Game Commission recently voted 3-2 to maintain the new ban on the importation of non-native frogs & turtles into California for use as food.
Huge thanks to the 1,196 SAVE THE FROGS! supporters who wrote letters to the Commission urging them to maintain the ban.
I attended and testified at the Commission's hearing on the matter and can assure you that this was an extremely close vote; the input of SAVE THE FROGS! supporters - which comprised over half of the total comments received - was crucial to this victory. Please have a listen to my 90-second testimony, which resides on our new SAVE THE FROGS! Audio page, and have a look at our press release, which resides on our brand new Press Releases page (where we'll be adding all our press releases).
Non-native American Bullfrogs are one of the most significant threats to California's native fragile ecosystems. The bullfrogs spread infectious diseases and are voracious predators of native frogs and salamanders. In the last decade, well over ten million American Bullfrogs have legally entered California for use as food. This new ban is a huge step in protecting California's wildlife from further damage due to invasive species like the American Bullfrog.
But the extent of the Fish & Game Commission's decision has positive impacts far beyond the borders of California. As one of the world's largest importers of amphibians, California's trade practices have been a primary contributor to the proliferation of frog farms around the world in recent years. The removal of California from the frog legs marketplace will decrease the demand for frog legs and quite possibly reduce the number of frog farms throughout the world. Importantly, this means fewer populations of invasive predatory bullfrogs in countries where they don't belong. The state's decision - the first of its kind in the country - also sets an important precedent for other states to follow, and SAVE THE FROGS! will be working hard to ensure that other state's - beginning with New York - do indeed follow California's example.
Our Advocacy Efforts in San Jose's MetroActive
Juliane Poirier wrote about SAVE THE FROGS' successful campaign in her MetroActive article When frogs start showing off, are they actually organizing?, an excerpt of which follows:
Although there was no report of an actual frog appearing, much less upstaging anyone, at the Fish and Game hearing in Sacramento last week, short of having an amphibian testify, the West Coast frogs had world-class advocacy. Save the Frogs founder and director, ecologist Kerry Kriger...stood up to legislators from San Francisco who testified that the Chinese have a 5,000-year tradition of eating frogs and turtles, and therefore the ban on imported frogs was anti-Chinese.
"Cultures necessarily evolve," Kriger responded. "If they did not, we would have long since eaten the buffalo and the California red-legged frog to complete extinction, as we did the passenger pigeons. As Americans, we are fortunate to have many choices of food, and thus it is our responsibility to act wisely and ensure that our culinary decisions are not unduly impacting our natural heritage and the future of our planet."
And the winner is...Ms. Taegan McMahon
Congratulations to Ms. Taegan McMahon, winner of the 2010 SAVE THE FROGS! Conference Travel Grant. Taegan will receive $500 to present her lecture entitled "Chlorothalonil: an immunomodulatory and deadly fungicide to amphibians" at the Joint Meeting of Herpetologists and Ichthyologists in Providence, Rhode Island July 7-12, 2010. Taegan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. Her research highlights the extremely lethal effects of chlorothalonil on amphibians. Chlorothalonil is the 2nd most common fungicide in America, commonly used on peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes.
Learn more about Taegan's research here, and read the press release here. Want more? GoGreenNation wrote an article about Taegan's research, and you can read it here.
Thoughts from the winner
"This presentation will help enlighten people about the harmful effects of the most commonly used synthetic fungicide (second most commonly used fungicide) in the United States on amphibian populations. It highlights the fact that even when some pesticides are used at or below the recommended "safe" levels, they can completely decimate amphibian populations. People use pesticides like chlorothalonil on their gardens and many have no idea how harmful it can be not only to themselves, but also to the environment. I feel really strongly that research which shows people that their behaviors (for example pesticide use) can have direct effects on the environments health is extremely impactful and pertinent."
CAUTION! Trade names for chlorothalonil include Bravo, Chlorothalonil, Daconil 2787, Echo, Exotherm Termil, Forturf, Mold-Ex, Nopcocide N-96, Ole, Pillarich, Repulse, and Tuffcide.
The SAVE THE FROGS! Audio Page Has Arrived
FREE mp3's! The SAVE THE FROGS! Audio page has arrived, featuring radio interviews, presentations, frog calls, public service announcements, and a whole lot more. Download them, post them on your site, email them to your friends. Enjoy. http://www.savethefrogs.com/audio
Among the presentations already posted on the Audio page is an mp3 of my recent talk at the Monterey Bay Aquarium...stay tuned for the video, which we'll post on our soon to be unveiled Video page.
You can also listen to a presentation I recently gave to the 110 4th graders of Ord Terrace Elementary School in Seaside, CA. The students had recently celebrated the 2nd Annual Save The Frogs Day, and were extremely excited to have me at their school!
Please donate to SAVE THE FROGS!
SAVE THE FROGS! is getting an incredible amount accomplished: from coordinating Save The Frogs Day - the largest day of amphibian education and conservation action in the planet's history - to keeping non-native frogs out of California and getting wild-caught frogs off restaurants' menus.
Please make a generous donation to SAVE THE FROGS! so that we can not only expand our world-class amphibian education programs, but also step up our campaigns to:
1) Get the harmful pesticide atrazine federally banned.
2) End frog dissections in high schools and universities.
3) End the trade in wild-caught amphibians for use as pets.
We can do it, but we need your support! The leopard frogs need your support!
11 year old girls raise $70 for SAVE THE FROGS!
Eleven year olds Molly and Kalea from Moss Beach, California were inspired by our How To Help Info Cards and Posters. They created their own version of the poster, hung it from a table, had a bake sale and raised $70 for SAVE THE FROGS!
Nice work Molly and Kalea!
Welcome to New Staff & Volunteers
There is plenty of action these days at SAVE THE FROGS' sunny headquarters in Santa Cruz, California. Welcome to new staff member John Walasek (Communications Manager); Shayna Meikle (Events Coordinator); and Debbie Kirk, who is helping us prepare our upcoming SAVE THE FROGS! books.
Thanks for all your support!
Have a great week,
Dr. Kerry Kriger
Save The Frogs
Founder, Executive Director & Ecologist