We’ve talked about frogs in previous posts, and frogs are once again our endangered species of the week. Many frog species are critically endangered throughout the world (up to 40% of species). Since frogs are keystone species in many of their ecosystems this fact is newsworthy – a keystone species is a species that has a disproportionate impact on its ecosystem, relative to its biomass; like a keystone in an archway, if the keystone species is removed, the arch, or ecosystem, could collapse. A recent front-page Washington Post article provides a valuable update on frog conservation.
So what’s a greenmomster to do?
- Locally, be sure to protect frog habitat; the areas where frogs live are often sensitive areas that affect the quality of water. Is there a new road or housing project being put into your neighborhood? Have the builders checked for the presence of frogs and other amphibians.
- Join Frogwatch USA and help with citizen science to keep track of local frogs.
- Got a lawn? Check out the FWS Homeowner’s Guide to Protecting Frogs – it’s a great guide for reducing use of pesticides and herbicides that can harm frogs.
- Globally, consider supporting organizations involved in frog protection – Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project (for frogs in Panama), Amphibian Ark, or you can even adopt a frog at the World Wildlife Fund.
Conservation efforts of this size cost money, but this is a problem we can help address. Did you know that, according to the National Retail Federation, the average American spent $80 on Halloween, totaling nearly $8 billion in 2012? And that in 2010 American consumers were estimated to have spent over $20 billion on video games? Why not resolve to spend a little less on entertainment, and a little more on our kids’ future environment in 2013?
Here’s a great interview with a Smithsonian scientist who’s on the front lines of frog conservation:
Investopedia. 2012. “How Much Americans Spend on Halloween.” October 24, 2012. Accessed online 12/31/12. http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1012/how-much-americans-spend-on-halloween.aspx#axzz2GfYCB8KX
Venturebeat. 2010. “Americans spend $25.3B each year on video games.” May 9, 2010. Accessed online 12/31/12. http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/09/americans-spend-25-3b-each-year-on-video-games/#PF6qGkDgzSptJQ0r.99