Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum for winning his second Rufford Small Grants award of £6,000 (US$9,000). The award will enable Gilbert Adum and his SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana team to restore and protect the habitats of Ghana’s Critically Endangered Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). The Squeaker Frog is in immediate danger of extinction as only 12 individuals are known to exist, all in an unprotected forest patch in Western Ghana’s Sui River Forest Reserve. However, the combination of logging, farming, mining and the invasion of the non-native weed Chromolaena 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.
On Gilbert’s 1st Rufford project (http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/gilbert_basse_adum), apart from large surveys that he and his team conducted for the Squeaker Frog and other frogs, they successfully trained local stakeholders in general amphibian ecology, survey and conservation strategies. The project also established that the deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis is absent from Ghana. In a paper co-authored in PLoS ONE (Penner et al. 2013), the work contributed to a large pool of similar, c. 800 samples, showing that the disease is also absent from the whole of West Africa (western Nigeria to Senegal). In addition, they organised Ghana’s first ever training workshop on amphibian diseases held in the capital, Accra. With focus on chytridiomycosis, participants from different organisations and institutions across the county received relevant training on amphibian diseases surveillance, monitoring and prevention strategies.
Thanks to the Rufford Small Grants Foundation for helping save the Giant Squeaker Frog!