If you’re tired of saving the whales, why not try saving something completely different?
Save the Frogs! World Save the Frog Day is April 29, and if ever a species needed a hand, it’s the Kermits of the world.
These days, it definitely ain’t easy being green. More than 200 species of frog are now extinct, and we’ll be down to no frogs in no time if we don’t do something.
Did you know our increasing appetite for frogs’ legs alone takes 100 million frogs out of the wild each year?
Or that Atrazine, a pesticide, turns male frogs into female frogs at only 2.5 parts per billion? And it’s only one of 18,000 pesticides registered in the U.S.
You name it, it’s a threat. Frogs are hunted for their legs, but also for the pet trade and lab dissections. Bullfrogs, native to the eastern U.S., unfortunately have the meatiest extremities, so they’re shipped all over the place. When they escape into the wild, they take over, and are now the alpha frogs in 15 countries, muscling out local species.
Not only that, two-thirds of imported bullfrogs carry the deadly chytrid fungus, which further contributes to the wipeout of local frog populations.
Do I even have to make the case that frogs are cool? Is there a man out there who isn’t carrying around an inner boy who used to catch frogs, name them, carry them in their pockets and use them to scare girls? If that’s not cool enough for you, frogs are amphibians, the world’s oldest land vertebrates, with a pedigree going back more than 360 million years, long before dinosaurs stomped around the planet.
Other frog facts: The world’s smallest is the Brazilian sapo-pulga, or flea frog, less than half an inch long (10 millimetres). The world’s largest is the goliath frog, which can grow to a foot long (30 centimetres) and weigh more than three kilos. Both (of course) are endangered, the flea frog by pesticides and the West African goliath by human appetite and loss of habitat.
On World Frog Day, take action by raising the consciousness of local restaurants that serve wild frogs’ legs, or take in Toronto’s Frog Leap-A-Thon. Here’s my favourite frog folly: Students at Texas Tech will go for a Guinness World Record by organizing the largest gathering of people wearing frog masks ever.
Or you can just raise your frog flag high. Whatever, the frogs will thank you.
Of course, there’s lot’s more frog-saving info at savethefrogs.com. Save the frogs!