SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana-KNUST, the world’s first university chapter of SAVE THE FROGS!, has won £6,000 (USD 10,000) award from the Rufford Foundation. The award will enable the team headed by Kojo Kwakye Ofori Amanfo (a Teaching Assistant and a chapter member) to carry out an amphibian monitoring and restoration project dubbed KNUST Wewe River Amphibian Project (K-WRAP). The KNUST Wewe River is a primary drainage system of one of southern Ghana’s largest watersheds that passes through the country’s premiere science university at its botanic gardens.
The Wewe watershed is also an important habitat to at least 12 frog species but just as in most riparian environments in Ghana, these frogs are seriously threatened from land-use activities. Activities such as farming and fuelwood extraction, and illegal disposal of sewage have led to frogs’ decline precipitously. In line with this, the K-WRAP team will implement ecological and social interventions to protect the frogs and other co-occurring wildlife on the university campus such as the vulnerable Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), the world’s smallest crocodile to prevent their extinction. The team will also rally support of the student body to pressurize university authorities to ban farming along the Wewe River, and disposal of untreated waste directly into the river.
Currently, a third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction with habitat destruction being the greatest contributor to this conservation problem. K-WRAP is therefore a rapid response action being employed to reverse the situation and contribute to global efforts in preventing the amphibian extinction crisis.
Thanks to the Rufford Foundation for helping save the KNUST frogs!
Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi is the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Campaigns Coordinator.