Project: Save the Frogs!
“And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of a whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night?”
— Chief Seattle, 1854
Believe it or not, frogs have existed pretty much in their current form for over 250 million years. When you consider the amount of environmental change the earth has undergone in that time period (ice ages, asteroids, etc.), that’s a pretty remarkable feat. However, worldwide frog populations are currently dwindling at alarming and unprecedented rates–since 1980, up to 200 different species of frogs have completely disappeared from the planet.
Frogs are battling disease, pollution, climate change, invasive competing species, habitat loss, overharvesting, and a score of other threats. Unless we do something to reverse this trend, our children and grandchildren could very well never hear the “arguments of the frogs around a pond at night.” Save the Frogs!, a California-based nonprofit organization, seeks to educate the public about frog conservation so this will hopefully NOT become our reality.
Frog population loss is an epic-scale tragedy for a variety of reasons: first of all, frogs are an integral part of the food chain. They keep water sources clean by eating algae, and keep bug populations in check. They serve as a food source for many larger animals, as well. In addition, frogs have played a role in many scientific discoveries that have benefited humans, and will hopefully continue to do so in the future–in fact, approximately 10% of Nobel Prize winners in physiology and medicine have utilized frogs in their research.
Luckily, Save the Frogs offers many, many opportunities for the amphibian-philes among us to get involved in their mission to protect frog populations and promote a society that respects wildlife and their environments. The simplest and quickest way is to donate to the Save the Frogs! You can also purchase an eco-friendly gift in their online store, or if you’d like to both contribute to the cause and stay in the loop, becoming a member of the organization is a great option. With your financial contribution, Save the Frogs! carries out an extensive array of tasks, including habitat restoration, awarding grants to conservationists, and holding educational events in over 60 countries!
If you’d like to volunteer your time instead of monetary resources, there are dozens of opportunities for that as well. Here is a list of easy ways to help the cause right here and now, or if you’d like to apply for an official volunteer position within the organization, here is a list of roles that currently need to be filled. Save the Frogs! truly offers a huge array of options for ground-level citizen science to work its magic.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia