seachild_elf (seachild_elf) wrote,

Leap Day!

Today is Leap Day, not just any Leap Day but Leap Day in the Year of the Frog.

I take it you can guess today's topic. ;)

Frogs, as you will know, are not just some of my favourite animals, but are in a bit of a tight spot this day and age. They suffer from habitat loss, pollution, a deadly fungus infection sweeping the globe and then some. To cut a long story short, a frightful number of them is facing extinction within our lifetime. A good deal of them have already croaked their last. (I have to say, despite this topic being rather grim, there are quite a number of puns available when writing about frog extinction...)

So 2008 has been named Year of the Frog by conservation organisations to highlight the frog crisis before they all gone off towards the Big Pond in the Sky. The numbers are dire: About 3000 frog species are threatened with extinction and that's about half of all known frog species today. 165 frog species believed to be extinct already. (numbers from Amphibian Ark website) For the Panamanian golden frog this is already a reality. Every frog they could find has been lifted from the wild, and put together in a holding facility while their own territory is over-run by a deadly Chytrid fungus.

So, this is my bit to spread the word.

Check out the website of Amphibian Ark. It's the organisation that aims at setting up breeding centers to maintain endangered frog population in captivity, in the event of their disapearance in the wild. (The logo from the site is also damn cute.) The Year of the Frog project is also supported by sir David Attenborough, a man I admire much and whose documentary series Life in Cold Blood about amphibians and reptiles is airing right now on BBC. Catch it if you can, it's breathtakingly good.

The Amphibian Ark website also has a petition to call for more action for the frogs. Please consider signing it, it costs nothing and it can do much good. Also, there's a blog aptly called Frog Matters that keeps up with the project.
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