4 November 2011

Tips for a Frog Friendly Bonfire

As we do every November, Froglife is reminding people to thoroughly check their bonfires for wildlife before lighting them …
Keep an eye out for hiding amphibia!

At this time of year, toads, frogs and newts are all looking for somewhere safe and frost-free to see out the winter. A big pile of logs, leaves and twigs may be the ingredients for a perfect bonfire, but they’re also an ideal hiding place for amphibians, hedgehogs and all sorts of other garden inhabitants.

Here are a few tips to make help make your celebrations more wildlife-friendly:
  • Collect your wood and other bonfire materials in a separate place to where you’ll be having the bonfire, and move them just before you want to light the fire, ideally as late in the day as possible. If you’re going to an organised event you could get in touch beforehand and ask if they need any help searching for uninvited guests!
  • If you do come across any animals, just transfer them to a similar habitat in another part of the garden. They may be a little disorientated but the disturbance won’t do them any harm.
  • Just before lighting, have a last check through with a torch and then ensure the fire is only lit from one side so anything left within has the chance to escape.
  • Try to burn only clean, untreated wood on your bonfire, with no nasty varnish, paint or plastics so you don’t release toxic chemicals in the smoke.
  • You could create a permanent log and leaf pile specifically for frogs, toads, newts, lizards, hedgehogs and other creatures to hide in over winter in a quiet corner of the garden. Other wildlife-friendly features include compost heaps and rockeries. Find out more here.

 So, have fun this fireworks night but remember what might be buried in your bonfire!

You can also help amphibians and reptiles by shopping with Froglife - all sorts of goodies are available in our Frogalogue here.
Photo: Sivi Sivanesan

Have Yourself a Froggy Little Christmas

As shops across the country fill up with festive finds, are you looking for a gift that gives to wildlife too? Froglife’s Frogalogue has a range of goodies including gifts and cards to help you have a jolly green Christmas...
Pack of 3 frog cards designed by Hannah Thomson

Art for Amphibians

Printed on recycled paper with colourful designs, Froglife Christmas card designs feature frogs and toads available at £3-5.  Illustrator Hannah Thomson has also designed an exclusive set of gorgeous greetings cards featuring whimsical frogs for £3, and we still have a pack of colourful toad-inspired notelets for £4. New for this year, we also have some beautiful prints of photographs and paintings for £25.

Fill a Stocking for Frogs
The Frogalogue features a number of small items, as well as the greeting cards, that make perfect stocking fillers - including Toads on Roads magnets at £1 and fair-trade ‘Make Frogspawn Not War’ cotton bags at £2.
Froglife's Make Frogspawn Not War cotton bag

Ssssspecial offers!
Whether you’re shopping for a student, an intrepid explorer or an all-round amphibian and reptile lover our ‘bundle bags’ are a bargain. Starting at £10 they contain a host of goodies for a discounted price and will be a sure winner under the Christmas tree!

Gifts that Give
This year we have a range of ‘Sponsor a Species’ gifts – for £10 you can Fight for Frogs, Sponsor a Snake or Protect a Toad; we will send you a certificate, some information about the species you are helping and a thank you gift on behalf of the animals! Froglife Friendship (an annual donation that supports our conservation and education work) also makes a great present idea.

Simple Shopping

1 November 2011

Ever thought about becoming a trustee?

Just in time for Trustee Week, Froglife is looking for two new recruits to join our friendly, dynamic board of trustees – one with human resources experience and one with accountancy experience.
Be part of Froglife's mission to protect landscapes like this!
Trustees provide a guiding role for Froglife’s work, making decisions about our future direction and how we’re going to get there. They also help with fundraising and ensuring the sustainability of the charity. Prospects are exciting for Froglife – we are looking to develop, grow and strengthen our work to protect reptiles and amphibians and find creative, inclusive ways to inspire people to take part in our conservation mission.

Joining our six fantastic current trustees, the ideal candidates will be inspiring leaders, clever fundraisers and proactive problem-solvers with a passion for the great outdoors. If you have current or recent experience of HR, accountancy or financial management, whether from the charitable or business sector, this could be a really interesting way to broaden your experience and help to make a difference.

The commitment involves attending quarterly trustee meetings in our Peterborough office, working as part the team to make decisions and liaising with Lin Wenlock, the Chair of trustees, on emerging issues between meetings.

You don’t need to be a wildlife expert - it’s more important that you share our commitment to protecting animals and empowering communities to conserve local landscapes.

Interviews will be held at a mutually convenient time in our Peterborough office with Lin and Kathy Wormald, Froglife’s CEO.
You can also support Froglife through a donation or by becoming a Froglife Friend. More information on how you can help Froglife is available here

31 October 2011

Have I Got Newts for You - October News

Your monthly round up of reptile and amphibian news from around the world, spotted by Froglife’s Conservation Communication Officer Lucy Benyon.

How climate change could cause amphibian extinctions
Researchers at Brown University have been looking at the impact of climate change on amphibian movements. Researchers argue that whether an animal can make it to a final, climate-friendly destination isn’t simply matter of whether they can travel, but whether they can withstand the rapid fluctuations in climate along the way. Using climate forecasting models, it was determined that more than half of 15 amphibian species in the western United States would become extinct or endangered.
Source: Irish Weather Online

Florida’s invasion problem
Florida’s native ecosystems are currently battling 137 non-native reptiles and amphibians species introduced in the last 150 years. 25% have been traced back to just one importer, and pets, such as Burmese pythons too large for their owners to cope with, are a major factor
Source: Wildlife Extra

Frogs on roads
Amphibians on the other side of the world are currently emerging to breed and facing familiar problems to UK species. In Taiwan a local ‘eco group’ has been set up to help Sauteris frogs as they migrate across roads to their breeding ponds in the Tashapei region of Hsinchu County.
Source: Taipei Times & BBC News

Lizards vs Oil
Environmental groups in America are pushing for the small dunes sagebrush lizard to be added to the Endangered Species List, giving it federal protection. However, opponents say this could endanger oil production as the lizard is dependent on shinnery oak which only grows in New Mexico and Texas – these areas are also home to the richest resources of oil and gas in the USA.
Source: Fox News

Another reptile declared extinct but elsewhere two new species of amphibian are discovered!
There was sad news from the USA this month when the South Florida Rainbow snake was finally declared extinct after not being recorded since 1952. But there was good news from Australia where two new species of boulder-dwelling frog have been discovered in Queensland. The golden-capped boulder frog and kutini boulder frog are both around 5cm long, giants compared to their rainforest-dwelling cousins who rarely reach more than 2cm.
Source: Wildlife Extra & Australian Geographic