27 April 2011

The Joys of Spring – Weddings and Frogs!

Friday 29th April 2011 – memorable for three reasons: the Royal Wedding (of course), an extra bank holiday for us lucky Brits and… it’s also global Save the Frogs Day! So as you’re enjoying your street party, barbecue or picnic, please don’t forget the small green amphibians that are such an important part of ecosystems and cultural heritage.

From Jeremy Fisher to Kermit, frogs are seen to be cute characters in children’s books and films, but they’re also beautiful, intriguing animals in real life. With fascinating and varied lifecycles, frog species play a key part in their worldwide habitats as both predators and prey.
Habitat destruction and degradation have long been a problem for frogs, as ponds have disappeared, water quality decreased and development has intruded into their habitats. New threats have emerged in the last few years in the form of devastating diseases.

Chytridiomycosis and ranavirus have caused some exotic species to become extinct in the wild and are known to be causing problems here in the UK. Research into these diseases and how to prevent further losses is crucial.

As this year’s report from the BTO, Froglife and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation highlights, in the UK our common frogs are one of the most accessible wild animals, being spotted in many an urban area. Having a pond in your garden is one of the best things you can do for frogs –frogspawn arriving is one of the classic first signs of spring, and tiny froglets hopping off to meet their fate is a wonderful summer sight. Our frogs are luckier than many other species, but they have suffered some declines due to habitat loss and there are concerns about diseases. It’s vital that we don’t take our frogs for granted, and that’s why Froglife is here – to help them through our conservation and education work.

So as you raise a toast to Will and Kate and enjoy the extra long weekend, here’s the top 5 things you can do for frogs:

1. Learn more about Save the Frogs Day
2. Download the BTO report and find out more about garden wildlife.
3. Take a look at our guide to making your garden frog-friendly
4. Support Froglife’s work to help the UK’s amphibians and reptiles by becoming a Friend
5. Frogwatch! Let us know what amphibians are in your garden.

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