Animalearn is a leader in humane science education. As an education program of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), Animalearn works to end the harmful use of animals in education by helping both educators and students find the most effective non-animal methods to teach and study science. Animalearn’s The Science Bank loan program was developed over 20 years ago to give educators and students access to innovative alternatives to animal labs, including frog dissections, which continue to be a common activity in classrooms across the globe. Today The Science Bank is home to over 650 high-quality, animal-friendly science education products and is the largest lending library of humane science products in the United States. If you want to support frog friendly alternatives to dissection, please go to Animalearn.org and put the life back into life sciences!
Do you want to drink Atrazine daily for the rest of your life? If not, please go submit an official comment to the USEPA before their call for comments ends on October 5th.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently released a 520-page document entitled "Refined Ecological Risk Assessment For Atrazine".
For the first time in its history, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released a document that details extensive ecological harm caused by Atrazine, one of the world's most commonly used herbicides. In their 520-page report entitled "Refined Ecological Risk Assessment For Atrazine”, the USEPA in their own words:
“presents the ecological risks posed by the use of the herbicide atrazine. Based on the results from hundreds of toxicity studies on the effects of atrazine on plants and animals, over 20 years of surface water monitoring data, and higher tier aquatic exposure models, this risk assessment concludes that aquatic plant communities are impacted in many areas where atrazine use is heaviest, and there is potential chronic risk to fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates in these same locations…EPA levels of concern for chronic risk are exceeded by as much as 22, 198, and 62 times for birds, mammals, and fish, respectively.”
Do you support the use of pesticides that present potential chronic risk for amphibians? Are you disturbed that the USEPA found levels of chronic concern for mammals were exceeded by as much as 198 times? We are mammals, so I'm sure you are at least slightly disturbed, given that Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. groundwater, rainwater and tapwater, and the USDA detected atrazine in 94% of American tap water samples.
Take Action Today:
Please go submit an official comment to the USEPA before the October 5th due date.
Dr. Kerry Kriger's Official Comment
You can view SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger's official comment to the EPA right here.
The new EPA report, Refined Ecological Risk Assessment for Atrazine, details atrazine’s harmful effects to plant and animal species in the United States. Here is an abstract of the more than 500 pages of report here: This refined assessment presents the ecological risks posed by the use of the herbicide atrazine. Based on the results from hundreds of toxicity studies on the effects of atrazine on plants and animals, over 20 years of surface water monitoring data, and higher tier aquatic exposure models, this risk assessment concludes that aquatic plant communities are impacted in many areas where atrazine use is heaviest, and there is potential chronic risk to fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates in these same locations. In the terrestrial environment, there are risk concerns for mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and plant communities across the country for many of the atrazine uses. EPA levels of concern for chronic risk are exceeded by as much as 22, 198, and 62 times for birds, mammals, and fish, respectively. For aquatic phase amphibians, a weight of evidence analysis concluded there is potential for chronic risks to amphibians based on multiple effects endpoint concentrations compared to measured and predicted surface water concentrations. The breadth of terrestrial plant species and families potentially impacted by atrazine use at current labeled rates, as well as reduced rates of 0.5 and 0.25 lbs. a.i./A, suggest that terrestrial plant biodiversity and communities are likely to be impacted from off-field exposures via runoff and spray drift. Average atrazine concentrations in water at or above 5 μg/L for several weeks are predicted to lead to reproductive effects in fish, while a 60-day average of 3.4 μg/L has a high probability of impacting aquatic plant community primary productivity, structure and function.
In order to protect amphibians and all life impacted by atrazine, please sign this electronic petition to get this harmful pesticide banned in the United States:
In May 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! along with the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the Secretary of the US Department of Interior to institute an emergency moratorium on the importation of salamanders into the USA unless they are certified free of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandivorans. In response to this petition, in January 2016 the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) instituted a ruling to restrict the importation and interstate transportation of 201 salamander species, and opened a 60-day public comment period.
On March 13, 2016, SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger submitted this official comment in support of the USFWS ruling. In the comment, Dr. Kriger details the potential impacts of infectious diseases on amphibian populations, addresses common misconceptions regarding the ruling, discusses ethical issues surrounding amphibian captivity, and urges for restrictions on the importation and interstate transportation of amphibians.
Ambystoma californiense/tigrinum hybrid, photo courtesy Michael Starkey
In 2015, SAVE THE FROGS! received a grant from the Alameda County Fish & Game Commission to research disease outbreaks in Foothill Yellow-Legged Frogs (Rana boylii) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The research was published in the journal Ecosphere. You can read the abstract below, or download the PDF of the publication here.
Photo of gravid female Rana boylii from Alameda Creek by Dr. Sarah Kupferberg
Extreme drought, host density, sex, and bullfrogs influence fungal pathogen infection in a declining lotic amphibian.
Andrea J. Adams, Sarah J. Kupferberg, Mark Q. Wilber, Allan P. Pessier, Marcia Grefsrud , Steve Bobzien, Vance T. Vredenburg and Cheryl J. Briggs
Ecosphere. March 2017. Volume 8(3). Article e01740
Freshwater biodiversity is imperiled across the globe, and multiple stressors such as habitat alteration, non-native species invasion, disease, and climate change can act in concert to threaten vulnerable taxa. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis, is one of the causative factors of severe amphibian declines. The foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) is a stream-breeding anuran endemic to California and Oregon (USA) that has declined precipitously in recent decades, yet there is little information on its susceptibility to Bd. In the fall of 2013, we observed dead and dying juvenile R. boylii in a San Francisco Bay Area watershed where annual amphibian breeding censuses have been conducted since 1997 in a free-flowing reach and since 2003 in an anthropogenically modified stream reach. High pathogen loads on R. boylii and histologic lesions observed on a dead R. boylii metamorph collected from the site were consistent with lethal chytridiomycosis. The outbreak coincided with extremely low stream flows in autumn that concentrated frogs in drying pools and the absence of high peak flows in winter that allowed non-native American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) to expand their spatial distribution in the stream network. Following the outbreak, we surveyed R. boylii and sympatric anurans at the site for the next two years to determine Bd trends within the population. Using mixed-effects models, we found that bullfrog presence was a positive predictor of both Bd prevalence and Bd load in R. boylii. Prevalence was also influenced by sex and life stage: Adult males were more likely to be infected than either females or juveniles. Moreover, we found that stream flow volume was negatively associated with Bd load. These results indicate that disease, drought, and flow regulation may interact synergistically to impact amphibians in ways not previously recognized, informing stream flow management strategies for native aquatic taxa.