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April 19, 2012

Ain't Easy Being Green: Frogs in Trouble Around the World

How to help our amphibious friends

  • Build a backyard pond to attract insect-eaters like this green frog. Janet Snyder/The HSUS

  • Weed-killing products can be lethal to leopard frog tadpoles. Ditch the chemicals and make your lawn frog-friendly. USGS

  • The cryptically colored Upland chorus frog calls from December to May and after heavy summer rains. USFWS

  • Barking treefrogs, named for the sound of their rain calls, climb trees to hide in crevices by day. Mark A. Musselman/USFWS

  • Rarely heard but common, river frogs are easily approached at night along southeastern stream banks. Mark A. Musselman/USFWS

  • Occupying many altitudes in the Pacific Northwest, Columbia spotted frogs breed February till June. USFWS

  • Frogs lay countless eggs, but many become food for other creatures, so very few mature into frogs. Tom Tetzner/USFWS

  • To transform into frogs, tadpoles must first grow arms, legs, and lungs, and absorb their tails. USFWS

It’s a fact that frogs are cool. It's also a fact that up to 200 amphibian species—many of them frogs—have gone extinct over the last 30 years, and this isn't just bad news for the critters. Frogs are good indicators of environmental health. If frogs are healthy and thriving, so are ecosystems. And when frog species are vanishing, it's a sign that something is wrong.

As Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder and executive director of Save the Frogs, explains, "When we save the frogs, we’re protecting all our wildlife, all our ecosystems, and all humans."

Do your part! Here's what you can do right now to help save the frogs—and the planet. 

Save frog habitat.

Habitat loss is the top cause of amphibian extinctions. Speak up for saving wetlands in your community. Do you happen to own land with frog-friendly habitat? Ask the Wildlife Land Trust about permanently protecting your land »

Keep your yard chemical-free.

Pesticides and weed-killers end up in waterways, where they enter frogs' bodies through their permeable skin. The common lawn product Roundup is lethal to tadpoles of gray tree frogs and leopard frogs. Maintain a life-friendly lawn »

Build a frog pond.

Welcome frogs into your backyard with a water feature. If you build it, they will come! Start with this easy-to-install mini pool or go all out with a full-size pond. Then turn your yard into an urban wildlife sanctuary »

Don't get amphibians as pets.

More than 20 million wild-caught amphibians are sold as pets each year. Often released back into the wild, they can spread diseases to native wildlife. Keep wild animals wild »

Dissect virtual frogs, not real ones.

Supplying frogs for dissection depletes wild frog populations and spreads invasive species and infectious diseases. Be smart—choose virtual dissection »

Celebrate Save the Frogs Day on April 28! Learn more at savethefrogs.com.


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