SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, West Africa’s first non-profit organisation dedicated exclusively to the conservation of amphibians, is conducting extensive field surveys and rescue operations for the critically endangered Ghana Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua) from 19th– 23rd December, 2014. Volunteers both in Ghana and abroad are welcome to join our experts on this all important expedition.
The Ghana Giant Squeaker Frog is a rare and endemic species now restricted to Western Ghana’s Sui River Forest Reserve. Unfortunately, the frog is on the verge of extinction as it faces constant threats from illegal loggers and farmers and the invasive non-native weed, the Devil weed (Chromolaena odorata). These threats deplete the density of leaf-litter required by the frog for predator escape, desiccation and breeding thereby, reducing its chances of survival. With only 16 individuals recorded to date, majority being juveniles, there is little knowledge about the species and its ecology. This survey will therefore, examine its suitable habitats and set up appropriate rescue and management operations for relic populations. Critical areas that are degraded will be planted with trees, joining other fragmented areas to increase the frog’s survival. These activities are in line with SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s goal of averting the extinction of any Ghanaian amphibian.
We encourage tertiary students to take advantage of this rare opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills in amphibian ecology and conservation. Student volunteers will also be permitted to collect data for their project thesis.
Volunteers both in Ghana and abroad are needed to help SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana conduct amphibian surveys and rescue operations for amphibians vulnerable to roadkills at the Ankasa Conservation Area (ACA) starting from 12th– 18th December, 2014.
ACA is one of Ghana’s most biodiverse areas found in the wet evergreen forest zone, supporting the country’s richest amphibian diversity. Unfortunately, ACA is constantly under ecological stress from the thousands of annual tourists. More disturbing is the poor nature of the roads leading to and passing through ACA, plagued with potholes that collect water used by some frog species as temporary habitats. Others also cross the roads during their natal migration periods in search of suitable breeding grounds. As a result, they are exposed to many dangers including roadkills.
In the absence of baseline data on amphibian roadkills that can help effectively address the problem in West Africa, this project is gathering and documenting fundamental information using ACA as a reference point. Specifically, we are developing photo guides to amphibians that occur within ACA. We are also collecting data on natal migratory frog species, proximity of breeding ponds to roads, species that use puddles as temporary habitats and species that are vulnerable or victims of road mortality.
Conservation measures underway to prevent the amphibian roadkills within ACA include:
• Covering up potholes in critical natal migratory routes together with ACA staff and school children from neighbouring communities.
• Educating ACA staff, tourists and local communities through radio programmes and video shows on the negative impacts of roadkills on amphibians.
Tertiary students are particularly encouraged to take advantage of this volunteering opportunity to develop their skills in amphibian research and also collect data that could be used for their thesis.
You can contact SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +233(0)202100198.
Thanks to the UK based Rufford Foundation for giving a £6,000 grant to fund this project.