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The FrogBlog

The FrogBlog is the place to find the latest news in the world of amphibian conservation

Google is supporting SAVE THE FROGS!

Google is supporting amphibian conservation and now you can too, for only one dollar!
For every dollar you donate to SAVE THE FROGS! through Google's OneToday program, we will send a copy of SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine to a curious student.

25 people have helped raise $34 so far. That's 34 students receiving a SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine. Please chip in a dollar or more, share this post and help inspire many more students to protect amphibians and the planet.

Order your own copy of the December 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine now!

Thank you for taking action for the frogs!


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Smokesign raises $400 for SAVE THE FROGS!

The Smokesign Musician is helping to raise $400 for STF! by allowing for his music to act as a fundraiser!

To check out and purchase his music, you can visit his fundraiser page for SAVE THE FROGS! Remember, when you purchase his music, all proceeds go to SAVE THE FROGS!

Here is a little note from Elliot who reached out to Kerry about Smokesign:

"Hi Kerry,
I have a music label that is centered around electronic dance music with a sometimes organic and tribal feel. One of my artists (Smokesign) wanted to do a fundraiser for you organization, so that donation is a years worth of sales. Always love to give a little to mother nature!
Cheers,
Elliot"

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A deadly salamander fungus

See the full article in the upcoming December issue of SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine, order here:
www.savethefrogs.com/december2015

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Photo by Peter de Koning

 

Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, is a recently discovered new member of the chytrid family of deadly pathogenic fungi affecting amphibians. True to the name, B. salamandrivorans affects salamanders rather than frogs, like the more well-known Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, chytrid fungus. This lethal fungus is thought to have originated from Southeast Asia but is now found in Asia, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, spread by the pet trade. According to a Science paper published in 2015 by Yap et al., the largest U.S. ports for salamander import, and therefore the most vulnerable to Bsal introduction, are Los Angeles, CA; Tampa, FL; New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; and San Francisco, CA. The U.S. is the world's salamander hotspot, with 50% of the world's salamander species.

 

AmphibiaWeb recommends the following things you can do to protect salamanders:

  1. Avoid buying Asian salamanders until better precautions are in place.

  2. Never release pet salamanders into the wild, including those that you collected yourself and kept in captivity for at least 30 days.

  3. Treat waste water from tanks with bleach before pouring down the drain.

  4. Write your congress person to ask them to support the trade ban.


 

To find out more, read the most influential scientific articles published to date below:

References compiled by Tariq Stark, writer of the December 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine article on Bsal and blogger at Amphibian Survival Alliance's blog



Bd-maps. (2015). Global Bd-Mapping Project. [online] Available at: <http://www.bd-maps.net/surveillance/> [Accessed 15 September 2015].

Berger, L., Speare, R., Daszak, P., Green, D. E., Cunningham, A. A., Goggin, C. L., Slocombe, R., Ragan, M. A., Hyatt, A. D., McDonald, K. R., Hines, H. B., Lips, K.R., Marantelli, G. & Parkes, H. (1998). Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(15), 9031-9036.

Cunningham, A. A., Beckmann, K., Perkins, M., Fitspatrick, L., Cromie, R., Redbond, J., O’Brien, M. F., Ghosh, P., Shelton, J., Fisher, M., C. (2015). Emerging diseases in UK amphibians. Veterinary Record, 176, 468.

Duffus, A. L., & Cunningham, A. A. (2010). Major disease threats to European amphibians. The Herpetological Journal, 20(3), 117-127.

Martel, A., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Blooi, M., Bert, W., Ducatelle, R., Fisher, M. C., Woeltjes, A., Bosman, W., Chiers, K., Bossuyt, F. & Pasmans, F. (2013). Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(38), 15325-15329.

Martel, A., Blooi, M., Adriaensen, C., Van Rooij, P., Beukema, W., Fisher, M. C., Farrer, R. A., Schmidt, B. R., Tobler, U., Goka, K., Lips, K.R., Muletz, C., Zamudio, K. R., Bosch, J. Lötters, S., Wombwell, E., Garner, T. W. J., Cunningham, A. A., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Salvidio, S., Ducatelle, R., Nishikawa, K., Nguyen, T. T., Kolby, J. E., Van Bocxlaer, I., Bossuyt, F. & Pasmans, F. (2014). Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders. Science, 346(6209), 630-631.

Sabino-Pinto, J.S., Bletz, M., Hendrix, R., Bina Perl, R. G., Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Lötters, S., Mutschmann, F., Schmeller, D.S., Schmidt, B. R., Veith, M., Wagner, N., Vences, M., Steinfartz, S. (2015). First detection of the emerging fungal pathogen in Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Germany. Amphibia-Reptilia.

Spitzen - van der Sluijs, A., Spikmans, F., Bosman, W., de Zeeuw, M., Goverse, E., Kik, M., Pasmans, F., Martel., A. (2013): Rapid enigmatic decline drives the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) to the edge of extinction in the Netherlands. Amphibia-Reptilia  34, 233-239.

Stuart, S. N., Chanson, J. S., Cox, N. A., Young, B. E., Rodrigues, A. S., Fischman, D. L., & Waller, R. W. (2004). Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science, 306(5702), 1783-1786.

Vredenburg, V. T., Knapp, R. A., Tunstall, T. S., & Briggs, C. J. (2010). Dynamics of an emerging disease drive large-scale amphibian population extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(21), 9689-9694.

Yap, T. A., Koo, M. S., Ambrose, R. F., Wake, D. B., & Vredenburg, V. T. (2015). Averting a North American biodiversity crisis. Science, 349(6247), 481-482.

 
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Engaged In Art partners with SAVE THE FROGS!

We are happy to announce that the Australian arts organization Engaged In Art is an official partner of the 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Art Contest.

Engaged in Art is run by Lesley Smitheringale, a professional artist and educator from Australia. Lesley has been an art educator for over 20 years and is passionate about helping young creatives on their art journey. She currently teaches extra-curricular art to children in her home studio and also acts as a virtual art teacher on her Engaged in Art Website which provides adults, parents, teachers and children with a range of online courses, instructional videos, E-Books and art and craft resources.

“As an art teacher and wildlife lover, I ask the kids I teach to create artworks and enter this annual competition which is for an excellent cause – saving frogs from extinction. Wearing two hats as an artist and educator I really feel strongly that children should be encouraged from an early age, to love and appreciate both domestic and wild creatures with whom they share their planet and to further foster that caring by injecting their creativity into helping the wildlife they have come to love. Since learning about what Dr. Kerry Kriger is striving to achieve through his amphibian conservation organisation, I wanted to become involved and I have incorporated the Save The Frogs Art Competition into my “Frogs” online art resources in the form of a “Frogs Colouring Sheets E-Book” and “Frogs Teacher Resource Pack”.
-- Lesley Smitheringale, Engaged In Art

The Frogs Colouring Sheets E-Book contains 12 hand-drawn illustrations of frogs by Lesley and there is a free speed video which teachers and children can watch where Lesley brings a frog to life using colour pencils. Lesley is a strong believer in children learning to colour creatively rather than just filling in.



The multimedia Frogs Teacher Resource Pack contains a huge variety of resources in a complete unit where children learn all about frogs by; identifying those who come into their garden or local area, listening to their calls, learning about their threat of extinction, recording facts about their diet, predators, defense mechanisms, habitat, amphibian traits, the frog life cycle, famous frogs in movies, games and literature and finally doing sketches of them, learning how to color creatively using the illustrations in the Frog Colouring Book and entering an artwork into the annual “Save the Frogs” Art Contest. These frog teaching ideas are available to view online using the Blendspace platform and also as a PDF.

Engaged in Art is donating these resources as part of the prizes to the finalists of the SAVE THE FROGS! Art Contest and their teachers.

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Ends Tuesday: Get 15% off SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine -September Issue

Following the Grand Opening of the brand new SAVE THE FROGS! Gift Center at shop.savethefrogs.com, we would like to offer a first in our series of discounted releases of our gifts. From now until 9pm PST Tuesday, September 8th, the September issue of SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine will be available at a 15% discount.

Order your SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine September issue by 9 pm PST Tuesday to take advantage of this special offer.
Use this coupon code to redeem this offer: MAGSEPT15

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The SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine is your #1 source of amphibian conservation information in print and is the official magazine of SAVE THE FROGS!. The September 2015 issue of SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine is quite possibly the most impressive piece of printed educational material we have produced since our founding in 2008. Why? Because it is jam packed with high quality articles, interviews, tips, photos and information about frogs, how you can save them and how our team of staff and volunteers around the world are saving them!

Order your September issue of Save The Frogs Magazine right here by 9 pm PST Tuesday.

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That means you will receive an additional 15% discount off of EVERY September issue you order. Single issues are already discounted by a dollar off the list price, so take advantage of this offer now using the coupon code MAGSEPT15 and order 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 50, 100 magazines to share with your friends, family, students, classmates, or colleagues.

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The September 2015 issue is 20 pages long and features articles on:
-- Re-Frogging America and how to build backyard wetlands for frogs
-- Updates from our team in Ghana, West Africa
-- Photos from many of the Save The Frogs Day 2015 events that took place worldwide
-- Articles by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger about our campaigns to protect Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs and to stop the importation of non-native bullfrogs into California
-- Guest article by Jenny Loda, environmental attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity
-- Guest article by Brandon Ballengee, an amphibian biologist and artist who travels the world researching amphibian malformities.
-- Guest article by amphibian biologist Rebecca Tarvin about her frog expedition in Cameroon.
-- Introduction to caecilians, the least understood group of amphibians
-- And of course amazing amphibian photos!

Order your September issue of Save The Frogs Magazine right here by 9 pm PST Tuesday.

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If you'd like to receive a free magazine subscription (4 issues every 3 months), become an official SAVE THE FROGS! Member:
www.savethefrogs.com/members

Get more info about SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine, including ways you can contribute or advertise in it, at: www.savethefrogs.com/magazine

Have any questions or comments? Please contact me (Emily Moskal: emily@savethefrogs.com). I am the Magazine Editor and am happy to hear from you.

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San Francisco Caught In The Act Of Destroying Wetlands

The City of San Francisco is now dredging the Sharp Park Wetlands, home of two endangered species, the California Red-Legged Frog and the San Francisco Garter Snake.

I just received this letter from an observer:
"Hi Kerry, At the Sharp Park golf course they have started dredging the connecting channel between Laguna Salada and Horse Stable Pond. We are concerned about the biological monitoring methods as described in my email below. It's hard to imagine that frogs in the mud could be seen or removed from the dredge bucket. "

August 19th, 2015:
They are moving very quickly. Today they were dredging the connecting channel and raking the remains of the tule and cattail that had been cut down last week. One of the kids was using a machete on anything still standing.

 

Sharp Park golf

 
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How We Are Saving The Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs

Please visit our brand new webpage dedicated to Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs and share it with your friends and colleagues. Since 2010 SAVE THE FROGS! has been working to save these amazing frogs (known in the scientific world as Rana boylii) via various campaigns and our efforts have really heated up in 2015. Here is the new webpage:
www.savethefrogs.com/rana-boylii

Four ways we are saving the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs:
Our new Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog webpage describes several ways SAVE THE FROGS! is currently working to protect these threatened frogs:
(1) Preventing the City of San Francisco's attempts to destroy sections of Alameda Creek
(2) Saving Tesla Park's Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs from off-highway vehicles
(3) Working to get Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
(4) Stopping the importation of American Bullfrogs into California.

There are also several freely downloadable PDFs on this new webpage, all of which are available for the first time:
(1) A two-page article from SAVE THE FROGS! Magazine, which describes in detail the threats posed to Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs at Alameda Creek and how you can help prevent the City of San Francisco's proposed creek alterations.
(2) A nine-page letter to the US Fish & Wildlife Service describing the threats posed to Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs at Tesla Park and urging them to grant the species full protections under the federal Endangered Species Act.
(3) A six-page letter we sent to the San Francisco Planning Department describing the problems with their proposed Alameda Creek Recapture Project.

Enjoy the new Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog webpage!
www.savethefrogs.com/rana-boylii

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550"] Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii) at Alameda Creek
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Help stop the salamander chytrid fungus

Help raise awareness about the new salamander chytrid fungus that threatens our nation's salamander biodiversity:

Jonathan Kolby started a citizen science project yesterday on iNaturalist. He is encouraging people to keep their eyes open for dead salamanders, and if they find one, to take a photo and upload it here in order to help rapid detection if/when this nasty pathogen invades the USA. Get all the details right here.



Also see http://www.savethefrogs.com/threats/chytrid/actions.html to learn how SAVE THE FROGS! is fighting the spread of chytrid fungus.



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550"] Photo by Daniel Hocking
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The 3rd annual SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize was a huge success!

The third annual SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize was a blast! From July 9th to the 18th, twenty-two frog-saving supporters trekked through rainforests, explored limestone caverns, relaxed on pristine beaches, and observed many species of amphibians! See the adventure for yourself and check out these amazing photos from the 2015 SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize.

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On the 9th of July, the SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour landed in beautiful Belize. After such a long day of traveling, we arrived at our first destination: The Tropical Education Center (TEC)! After settling in, we set out to find some frogs. It was the beginning of the wet season in Belize and the frogs were out! The first frog we found was a Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas! Isn’t it gorgeous?

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There were some aspiring herpetologists who joined us for this exciting adventure and they were quite good at spotting elusive amphibians in the undergrowth. This Marine Toad, Rhinella marina, was a great find!

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While staying at the TEC, we took a day to experience the incredible archaeological site Xunantunich! Located just outside of San Ignacio, this beautiful site is thousands of years old. We were also quite privileged to receive a guided tour of the local plants and their uses as we explored the ancient Mayan city.

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The SAVE THE FROGS! Belize Eco-tour left the Tropical Education Center and traveled far south to the small, Mayan town of Blue Creek. Situated in pristine, intact rainforest, Blue Creek is a haven for wildlife and the diversity of flora and fauna is incredible! At Blue Creek there are so many activities to experience. We were guided through the forest by extremely knowledgeable Mayan ethnobotanists and we learned how the forest provides so many uses for the Mayan people. We also trekked up mountains, hiked through the rainforest, forged rivers, and explored intricate cave systems.

We were able to see the rare Limestone Rainfrog, Craugastor psephosypharus, and a Mexican Climbing Salamander, Bolitoglossa mexicana!

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The diversity of amphibian life is quite high in Blue Creek because of the substantial rain that falls each wet season. During our stay it was the beginning of the wet season in Belize and the frogs were out! Each night we went out looking for frogs we were never disappointed.

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The trip continued to get better as we headed north toward the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (TREES)! Home of the endemic Maya Mountain Frog, TREES is located on 200 acres of prime amphibian habitat and it borders the Sibun Forest Reserve.

Here’s SAVE THE FROGS! Education Coordinator Kathlyn Franco with a beautiful Mexican Tree Frog, Smilisca baudinii.

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This frog was contently lounging about by a light looking for insects to eat.

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We also found other amazing animals on our trip, including this Parrot Snake!

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It was not long before were found the endemic and threatened Maya Mountain Frog, Lithobates juliani. This species is unfortunately becoming quite rare in Belize, so it is a treat to be able to see a healthy population at TREES!

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We also found some amazing species that live on the forest floor! This is the endangered Long-legged Stream Frog, Craugastor sabrinus. This species is heavily impacted by habitat destruction and pesticides.

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After a froggy week in the jungle it was time to dry out and head to the island! Our group spent the remainder of the trip at South Water Caye, which is a 14 acre island that is just a 45 minute boat ride east of Dangriga. This was a great place to relax, snorkel, and bird watch. What a great way to end such an exciting adventure in Belize!

Here is a list of the amazing amphibians we saw while in Belize:
Marine Toad, Rhinella marina
Gulf Coast Toad, Incilius valliceps
Vaillant’s Frog, Lithobates vaillanti
Maya Mountain Frog, Lithobates juliani
Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas
Mexican Tree Frog, Smilisca baudinii
Stauffer’s Treefrog, Scinax staufferi
Yellow Treefrog, Dendropsophus microcephalus
Limestone Rainfrog, Craugastor psephosypharus
Veined Tree Frog, Trachycephalus venulosus
Long-legged Streamfrog, Craugastor sabrinus
Mexican Climbing Salamander, Bolitoglossa Mexicana

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Want to experience this adventure for yourself? Then send an email of interest to SAVE THE FROGS! Ecologist Michael Starkey at Starkey@savethefrogs.com. We’d love to have you join us in Belize next year! Learn more here: www.savethefrogs.com/belize2015
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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Announces New Social Media Pages

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is pleased to announce our new social media pages on Twitter, @GhanaFrogs and Facebook SAVE THE FROGS Ghana Official. The new pages offer better platforms for the advertisement of upcoming events and updating our members on ongoing projects. This is to make it even easier for followers and non-followers alike to access the organization on multiple platforms whiles finding updates. These pages will also make it possible for us to monitor the impact factor of our posts; the number of views and likes received by looking at the analyzer bar on Facebook and hoot suit application on Twitter.
You are welcome to ask your questions about amphibians, the organization, staff, projects, e.t.c using any of these platforms and we will make sure to response to them swiftly. We will also have special chat segments on these platforms where a specific topic will be raised for discussion.
We hope you enjoy the new sites, and please feel free to let us know what you think!


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