In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of amphibians, this Saturday was the 5th Annual Save the Frogs Day.
Save the Frogs Day is devoted to education and conservation efforts for amphibians with events around the globe coordinated by the amphibian conservation organization Save the Frogs in an effort to get people to respect and appreciate our little frog friends and subsequently protect larger ecosystems.
According to the organization, at least 200 species of frogs have completely disappeared since 1980 and up to one-third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction due to a variety of factors ranging from pollution and diseases to habitat loss, climate change, competition from invasive species and over-harvesting for food.
Not only do frogs play an important role in the ecosystem, but like the canary in the coal mine, they are good bioindicators of problems with the environment that should serve as critical warnings that something is wrong.
If you didn’t attend any Save the Frogs events this year, there are still a number of different ways you can help frogs every day.
Help Spread the Word
Save the Frogs has a ton of material that can be used to spread the word about the plight of frogs from flyers and icons to material to share on Facebook. It also offers resources for students, teachers and scientists to help educate people about frogs, their habitats and the problems they face.
Don’t Use Pesticides at Home
Despite being approved for use, millions of pounds of harmful pesticides are used every year that eventually make their way into waterways and cause a host of problems for frogs and other aquatic species.
Don’t Support Frogs in The Pet Trade
With an estimated 20 million frogs being legally sold every year, the pet frog trade is having a significant impact on their numbers in the wild and they are bringing potentially problematic pathogens with them as they are transported around the world. They also cause problems when people decide to release them by becoming invasive species and spreading diseases.
Skip Out on Dissection
According to the American Anti-Vivisection Society millions of animals are dissected or vivisected in schools and universities every year, with an estimated six million vertebrates used in high schools alone. Unfortunately, many of these animals are frogs who are taken from the wild. The good news is there are alternatives to using animals in education which have been shown in studies to be more effective when it comes to learning. To find out more about humane education, visit Animalearn.
Watch Your Water Use
Our water is routinely diverted from environments frogs and other aquatic species call home. Whether it’s paying attention to how long your hot shower is, or deciding whether or not to buy bottled water, conserving this resource will not only help protect frogs and other species who need it to survive, but will help curb overall energy use.
Save the Frogs cites numbers from the Pacific Institute, which found that producing 30 billion plastic bottles uses the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil, produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and uses three times the amount of water than actually ends up in the bottle, without even considering the energy that’s required to transport bottles from factories to stores.
Support a Ban on Atrazine
Atrazine is one of the most commonly used agricultural pesticides in the world – the U.S. used 80 million pounds of Atrazine last year alone, particularly in the Midwest. Unfortunately, it’s also very harmful to frogs and causes males to turn into females. It has been found to cause cancer in mammals and developmental problems in fish.
Please sign the petition asking the Environmental Protection Agency to ban Atrazine in the U.S.
For more information about frogs and ways to help, visit Savethefrogs.com.
Photo credit: Thinkstock