Written by Dr. Kerry Kriger
Where are the frogs?
Frogs and salamanders worldwide are disappearing at unprecedented rates and nearly half of the world’s 7,000 amphibian species are declining in numbers.
Many species have gone completely extinct in recent decades. From the fossil record, we know that amphibians naturally go extinct at a rate of about one species every 500 years. In recent decades over 100 species have gone completely extinct: an extinction rate several thousand times faster than is normal.
I talked to Green Diva Meg about the importance of saving the frogs in this Green Divas Heart Wildlife segment…
The primary causes of amphibian extinction are pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, invasive species, road mortality, over-harvesting for the pet and food trades, and the infectious disease chytridiomycosis, which is spread by human activity. Unless we act quickly, amphibian species will continue to disappear, resulting in irreversible consequences to the planet’s ecosystems and to humans.
Why do frogs matter?
Frogs are important for a variety of reasons. They eat mosquitoes, ticks and flies that spread diseases we don’t want, such as malaria, dengue fever and Lyme disease. Many of our medical advances come from research that involved amphibians: 10 percent of the Nobel Prizes in physiology and medicine went to researchers whose work depended on amphibians.
Frogs also serve as food for birds, fish and monkeys, and the disappearance of amphibians could lead to problems that cascade through the ecosystem, causing other wildlife species to decline in numbers as well.
Frogs and tadpoles filter our drinking water, doing a lot of the work before the water reaches the community filtration system and therefore keeping the cost of our water low. Plus frogs look and sound cool, and kids love them—so there are lots of reasons to save the frogs!
I encourage all nature lovers to visit SAVETHEFROGS.com to learn more about amphibians and join SAVE THE FROGS! We look forward to your involvement in the amphibian conservation movement!
If you still need more convincing, read this poem chronicling the importance of our slimy friends.
Croak! Croak! Arrives the rain.
End of all miseries and pain.
Season of love is here at last,
The frogs quench their months of thirst
But alas, the frogs did not know
Men were following close and low.
To feed the selfish human brain
The lives of frogs go in vain.
Frogs are gone
Insects are on
Such a heart touching pain
No frogs now to welcome the rain!
Still there is time for us to revive
Help the frogs and toads survive.
Let frogs live and flourish
Maintain the balance in nature, in return it shall nourish.
–Frog Poetry by Bijoy Kumar Barman; Age 22; Calcutta, India
Here’s the latest episode of The Green Divas Radio Show for more on green and healthy living…
Asst. Ed. Green Diva Grace Haumersen / Image via SAVE THE FROGS
Dr. Kriger is the Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!, the world’s leading amphibian conservation organization. He conceived and coordinates Save The Frogs Day, the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action, and has given over 300 presentations on amphibian conservation in Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, South Korea, and the USA. Dr. Kriger holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia. Connect with SAVE THE FROGS on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram!