Jun 26, 2009

The die we die - frogs... like bee's but better

Didn’t know frogs were in such shoddy shape? Don’t worry, you’re the norm. Which is precisely the reason Dr. Kerry Kriger started Save the Frogs! in the first place. He realized he was writing scientific papers about how bad the situation is globally for frogs, which then got published in journals “normal people don’t read.” On top of all that, he and other scientists were making recommendations based on that research, but there was no one to carry them out.

His current vision for the organization is simple but powerful: “that everyone in America know that frogs are disappearing.” Once general awareness is established, especially among the younger generation, it is Kriger’s hope that grassroots and legal action to protect frogs and their habitat will follow.

When asked why the average citizen should care about some dying frogs on a mountain somewhere, Kriger took a minute to measure his answer.

“Frogs have been around 250 million years,” he said. “They’ve outlived the dinosaurs ... But in the last 30, 40, 50 years, they’re now going extinct.”

Because thin-skinned frogs live both on land and in the water, they are biological indicators of the planet’s health—the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. With over one-third of these species in imminent danger of extinction, what’s really alarming is that most of us have no idea what’s going on.

If that’s not cause for concern, he reasoned, you only have to look as far as human disease and medicine. Little-known fact: 10 percent of Nobel prizes in medicine and physiology recognized research that was performed, in part, by researchers using frogs. Additionally, frogs eat disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes, reducing the spread of malaria, dengue fever, and other less-than-desirable conditions people don’t want to catch.

Read more GRISTY news about frogs here