In May 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! along with the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the Secretary of the US Department of Interior to institute an emergency moratorium on the importation of salamanders into the USA unless they are certified free of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandivorans. In response to this petition, in January 2016 the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) instituted a ruling to restrict the importation and interstate transportation of 201 salamander species, and opened a 60-day public comment period.

On March 13, 2016, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger submitted this official comment in support of the USFWS ruling. In the comment, Dr. Kriger details the potential impacts of infectious diseases on amphibian populations, addresses common misconceptions regarding the ruling, discusses ethical issues surrounding amphibian captivity, and urges for restrictions on the importation and interstate transportation of amphibians.

ambystoma californiense tigrinum hybrid michael starkey
Ambystoma californiense/tigrinum hybrid, photo courtesy Michael Starkey

 

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"I am a former Herpetology Keeper's Assistant, and an avid nature and wildlife photography buff. I love frogs because…well, heck, how can one NOT love frogs? They have cute expressive faces, they sing into the night, and they eat lots of insects, thus helping to control the population of pests. They are also (and most unfortunately) a visual representation of the damage we are doing to the natural environment, and to the planet as a whole. They are our modern day canary in a coal mine. We would do well to heed their warning…"

R.C. Clark, Dancing Snake Nature Photography

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