Upcoming 7th Annual Save The Frogs Day Celebration in Northern Ghana

On 24th April 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana (hereafter STF! Ghana) will be celebrating this year’s Save The Frogs Day, the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action in Northern Ghana’s Chiana. Campaigning within this locality on the theme “Frogs on Roads (FOOR),” we will raise public awareness about widespread frog deaths caused by road users. Activities have therefore, been planned to raise awareness and educate the public on preventive measures to reduce amphibian roadkills. Preceding the day will be a 30 minutes discussion on Nabiina Radio, the district FM station which broadcasts to +2,000 local people, about the plight of frogs to roadkills and what can be done to reduce it. There will be a phone-in section where staff of STF! Ghana will get interactive with the public. Through this broadcast, we will also invite people to the major events planned for Save The Frogs Day including, “Racing for Frogs,” a 11km bicycle racing competition and a street parade with local people holding placards to raise awareness about the indiscriminate killing of frogs by road users. Some inscriptions on the placards will read “IF YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT IS ON THE ROAD, SLOWDOWN”; “WATCH OUT FOR ME ON RAINY DAYS”; “DON’T RUN ME OVER WHEN YOU SEE ME ON THE ROAD”; “RESCUE ME WHEN I GET TRAPPED ON THE ROAD”; “I LOVE PUDDLES BUT NOT WHEN THEY ARE ON THE ROAD,” “PATCH THAT POTHOLE BEFORE I CONFUSE IT FOR MY HABITAT” e.t.c.
We will also visit our vibrant SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana football team, to retool it with sports and educational materials. A courtesy call will be paid to the paramount chief and the elders of the traditional area to thank them for their support for STF! Ghana and also inform them of planned projects for the community. The day will finally be crowned with a speech and the presentation of awards to race winners by the Associate Executive Director of STF! Ghana, Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi.
This campaign is necessary as many roads in Ghana are plagued with puddles and potholes which amphibians frequently use as temporary habitats, increasing their risk to roadkills. In addition, many die on the roads during their natal migration to breeding sites. Unfortunately, the general lack of awareness among Ghanaians to this development make amphibians even more vulnerable to roadkill.

 

Thanks to The Rufford Foundation and SAVE THE FROGS! for supporting this day!!

 

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Wins Rufford Foundation Awards for the Third-time

Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum for winning an award of £10,000 (US$15,500) as a booster grant from the Rufford Foundation. The award will enable Gilbert and his SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana team to upscale their habitat restoration project within the habitats of Ghana’s Critically Endangered Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua) for the species protection. They will specifically: (1) remove the invasive weed Chromolaena odorata from the species’ remaining degraded habitat; (2) establish community tree nurseries to raise and plant 5,000 native seedlings; (3) field map the spatial distribution of all planted seedlings; and (3) sustain education campaigns for the species’ long-term protection.
The Squeaker Frog is in immediate danger of extinction as only 13 individuals are known to exist, all in an unprotected forest patch in Western Ghana’s Sui River Forest Reserve (SRFR). However, the combination of logging, farming, mining and the invasion of the non-native weed C. odorata are causing the species to decline and preventing its recovery from the brink of extinction. Within an area of 20 hectares, Gilbert and his team will remove the invasive C. odorata which impedes the frogs’ movement and replant fast-growing native trees, and launch an education program to increase conservation awareness among local people and the general public.
This project is an excellent opportunity to engage our collaborators, both local and international: SAVE THE FROGS! USA (world’s first organisation dedicated exclusively to the protection of amphibians|); Amphibian Survival Alliance (World’s largest amphibian conservation partnership); HERP-Ghana; Forestry Commission; SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana-KNUST Chapter, Giant Squeaker Frog Clubs and local people. The local awareness creation will especially be useful to generate more avenues for community engagement including instilling in the young generation a conservation spirit. We are also in dialogue with logging companies with concessions within the SRFR to delineate critical areas of the species from all logging activities.

Thanks to the Rufford Foundation for funding this project.

 

merged rufford and krokosua

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana to REPRESENT CONAMA at ATEWA

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s Associate Executive Director, Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi has been selected to represent the Coalition of NGOs Against Mining in Atewa (CONAMA) within the Atewa District. She will work together with A ROCHA Ghana’s representatives to assess and report on progress work in promoting Atewa Range Forest Reserve as an area for:
• The payment of Ecosystem Services
• The development of a National Park
• Community-based eco-tourism and community carbon sequestration projects

The team will also organise joint programmes and projects of mutual benefit to members of the coalition, including visits and exchange of scientific materials on Atewa to promote the reserve globally.
The Atewa Range Forest Reserve, listed as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, is Ghana's most biodiverse yet most threatened wilderness area. The reserve is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi; a close relative of the world's largest frog, the Goliath Frog Conraua goliath) now restricted to the reserve. Numerous other amphibian species as well as a diverse non-amphibious flora and fauna including 700+ butterfly species also live in the reserve.
Unfortunately, Atewa Range Forest Reserve has become the recent focus of many international mining companies due to its large deposits of high grade bauxite. Should these companies be granted permission to carry out their mountaintop-removal mining operations, this habitat will be destroyed, affecting local biodiversity and clogging streams and rivers that supply +5 million Ghanaians with drinking water with silt and by-products from mining chemicals; a catastrophe that will be impossible to reverse. There is therefore, a wide consensus among scientists and NGO's that the reserve should be upgraded to the status of a national park for its permanent protection. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana (STF! Ghana) therefore, joined forces with other environmental NGOs to form CONAMA. Our first task was to prevent the issuance of prospecting licences by Government to mining companies which we have been successful with. The second phase now is pushing government to enlist Atewa Range Forest Reserve as Ghana’s 6th National Park. We subsequently held an international summit on the theme "Atewa Forest a Heritage at the crossroads, What Future?" to come out with a clear road map and strategies for consideration by government, policy makers and the legislature to put in place the necessary legal frameworks to ensure Atewa is upgraded to a National Park status. STF! Ghana's call up to spearhead this task is an honour done the organisation and we will continue to work with our global partners to ensure the realisation of this goal.
We are grateful to all our global partners for their support in our fight for the creation of Atewa Range Forest National Park and we look forward to many more of such in the coming years.
Please visit the STF! wepage on Atewa to read more: http://www.savethefrogs.com/countries/ghana/atewa.html



 

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Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi Named SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Associate Executive Director

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana (hereafter STF! Ghana) announces the appointment of its first female Associate Executive Director, Ms Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi starting from January, 2015.

 

Ms Owusu-Gyamfi before the promotion, was the Programmes Co-ordinator of STF! Ghana where she was responsible for linking the organisation up with both Government and private institutions, organising amphibian conservation events, workshops, field surveys, fund raising, e.t.c. She will now assist Gilbert Adum who has served in the capacity of the Executive Director since September, 2011 with this new promotion.

 

Ms Owusu-Gyamfi began her career as a bat taxonomist with the Harrison Institute in the United Kingdom. Upon her return to Ghana in 2012, she was appointed as the Programmes Co-ordinator for STF! Ghana. She has successfully organised over 30 STF! events, reached out to +2 million people worldwide with the amphibian conservation message using the media and other local and international platforms including presentations at the University of Cambridge’s Students Conference on Conservation Science, the University of Nottingham and The British Herpetological Society.

 

“It is extremely important to have someone who appeals to the masses especially women and children, form an integral part of the organisation. I am indeed pleased to have Ms. Owusu-Gyamfi as my assistant,” Mr. Gilbert Adum says.

 

“We are delighted to welcome Ms Owusu-Gyamfi to the executive board of STF! Ghana,” Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder and Executive Director of STF! also added. “She has consistently been at the forefront of promoting amphibian conservation both locally and international. Her extensive knowledge and background in amphibian conservation is a great asset in helping to end the current amphibian extinction crisis.”

 

Ms Owusu-Gyamfi will take over running the affairs of STF! Ghana as Mr. Adum takes an academic leave of absence to Germany where he will also establish an international office of STF! Ghana.

 

“I look forward to this new challenge. It is a great honour done me in recognition of my services to the organisation,” Ms. Owusu-Gyamfi also had this to say about her promotion. “I look forward to working more closely with women and children as their participation is very crucial in achieving success in amphibian and biodiversity conservation on the whole.”

 

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is West Africa’s first non-profit organisation dedicated exclusively to the conservation of amphibians and it is the first international branch of USA-based non-profit SAVE THE FROGS!


KODAK Digital Still Camera

The New Associate Executive Director for STF! Ghana, Ms Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi



The Current Executive Director, Mr. Gilbert Adum

 

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MISSION POSSIBLE: THE SEARCH AND RESCUE OF GHANA’S CRITICALLY ENDANGERED GIANT SQUEAKER FROG

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.

 

Thanks to Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund and SAVE THE FROGS! USA, for supporting this project.

 

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PREVENTING AMPHIBIAN ROADKILLS AT ONE OF GHANA’S MOST BIODIVERSE AREAS

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 ghana@savethefrogs.com or calling +233(0)202100198.

 

Thanks to the UK based Rufford Foundation for giving a £6,000 grant to fund this project.


  Printrufford logo

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana-KNUST Chapter Members on Frogs Saving Spree

Members of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana KNUST Chapter, the world’s first international university chapter of SAVE THE FROGS!, are embarking on a massive frog conservation education at local communities in the Kumasi Metropolis this Saturday, 8th November 2014. The members will educate the local people about the plight of frogs, and how to organize amphibian conservation activities to prevent their extinction. The outreach will also target local Senior High Schools in the evening during their weekend entertainment programme to inspire the students to pursue environmental careers.They will also distribute free educational materials including SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana stickers to these local people.

 

Since its inception in 2011, the KNUST Chapter at Ghana’s premier science university and second largest city, Kumasi, has been educating communities within the Kumasi Metropolis.This year’s outreach focuses on communities that fringe the Wewe River, a 12.9ha remnant upland forest and wetland which is an important habitat for twelve frog species. This riparian environment also forms part of the Upper Guinean Forest, one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots and so has duly been referred to as the oasis of Kumasi’s tropical biodiversity. Unfortunately, local people use this area as“wasteland” and dump water and liquid waste. There is also widespread illegal farming activities and continuous extraction of bamboo and trees by local people.

 

In their efforts to curb these illegal activities and protect the Wewe River for frogs, the KNUST Chapter has been engaging these local communities through conservation outreaches to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature. Organizing community outreaches has always been one of the major hallmarks of SAVE THE FROGS! (STF!) in combating the amphibian extinction crisis and this educational trip is perfectly in line with that.

 

RSG_13669-2_Gilbert Adum_project team interacting with village school children

 

Thanks to the Rufford Foundation, SAVE THE FROGS! and SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana for helping us save the KNUST amphibians and giving these communities the opportunity to learn about nature.

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana wins $5,000 award from The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana for winning a $5,000 award to further their efforts to protect the Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua), one of the world's most endangered frog species! The goal of the project is to better understand of the ecology of the Giant Squeaker Frog; promote a more conscious local community that respects and appreciates the frog, and engender stronger political will for protection of the species, ensuring the maintenance and protection of its viable populations for long-term survival. Specifically, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will conduct surveys for the frogs; create GIS maps of the frogs' locations; quantify existing anthropogenic threats, and educate local communities about the frog. These initiatives will also benefit three other globally threatened co-occurring frogs including Phrynobatrachus villiersi (Vulnerable), P. annulatus (Endangered) and Hylarana occidentalis (Endangered).

 

The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a significant philanthropic endowment established to provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives, recognize leaders in the field of species conservation and elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate. To date the fund has awarded over 1000 grants to a diverse range of species across the world.

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana wins $5,000 award from The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund 

Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana for winning a $5,000 award to further their efforts to protect the Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua), one of the world's most endangered frog species! The goal of the project is to better understand the ecology of the Giant Squeaker Frog; to promote a more conscious local community that respects and appreciates the frog; and to engender stronger political will for protection of the species, ensuring the maintenance and protection of its viable populations for long-term survival. Specifically, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana will conduct surveys for the frogs; create GIS maps of the frogs' locations; quantify existing anthropogenic threats, and educate local communities about the frog. These initiatives will also benefit three other globally threatened co-occurring frogs including Phrynobatrachus villiersi (Vulnerable), P. annulatus (Endangered) and Hylarana occidentalis (Endangered). The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund is a philanthropic endowment established to provide targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives; recognize leaders in the field of species conservation; and elevate the importance of species in the broader conservation debate. To date the fund has awarded over 1,000 grants to a diverse range of species across the world.

 

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Talks about Ghana’s Climate Change and Frogs at World’s Greenest University, UK Nottingham University

On Thursday 25th September 2014, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s Co-founder and Executive Director Gilbert Adum will present a climate change and frogs talk at the world’s greenest university, UK Nottingham University.


SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director will be giving his talk to renowned professors, other scientists and students at the Faculty of Life Sciences about Ghana’s deteriorating climatic changes and what it means for the survival of the country’s frogs. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s Co-founder and Executive Director says Ghana’s frogs may just have a dog’s chance to survive the onslaught of climate change given that 90% of their habitats that can otherwise shield them from the impacts of climate change are already gone. According to the Intergovernmental Platform for Climate Change, the geographic location of Ghana makes the country one of the most vulnerable areas to 21st century climatic changes. Thus, it is not surprising that Ghana is already one of the countries that are worst hit by climate change: from floods in the nation’s capital Accra to droughts up north, causing desertification that is engulfing the savanna regions. Since the early 1970s, Ghana has experienced a decline in precipitation levels of approximately 30%; and a temperature increase of at least 1°, a much faster change than most other areas of the world. Gilbert Adum adds that ‘we are yet to even see the worst of climate change as temperatures are projected to increase up to 3.0°C by the 2060s, and 5.2°C by the 2090s.’

It is indeed bad news for frogs, other wildlife and Ghanaian people alike. But Gilbert Adum who has already won a top award last week at a conference in Bonn (Germany) for his courageous and brilliant vision of climate change adaptability and mitigation strategies, believes that together there are prospects to make Ghana’s climate better for frogs and people. The Executive Director will discuss his vision also with the Nottingham University scientific community. In the end he says he hopes to bring the plight of Ghana’s frogs to the limelight, and establish long-lasting collaborations with the university’s scientists to protect the country’s vanishing frogs from climate change. He says he will also seize the opportunity to raise funds to sustain the progress his non-profit organisation SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is making to save Ghana’s frogs.

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s Co-founder and Executive Director Gilbert Adum would like to thank Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (Germany), Museum für Naturkunde (Germany), University of Nottingham (UK) and SAVE THE FROGS! (USA) for supporting his stay and travels around Europe. We also thank Amphibian Survival Alliance for featuring this post on their website (http://www.amphibians.org/news/climate-change-and-frogs/)


the night spirit frog

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