Make sure you have ‘friends in low places’!
Top 8 things you can do in 2008 to help amphibians
- Look, listen and learn: Educate yourself and your family about amphibians. With over 6,300 species of frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and caecilians worldwide, there’s a lot to learn. Pick up a book, hop around the Internet, or watch your favorite animal television show to educate yourself and your family about amphibians. New Zealand has the most important frog in the World.
- Visit a local Zoo, Museum or Aquarium and experience your very own amphibian adventure! ARAZPA-accredited zoos, museums and aquariums are helping to save frogs and other amphibians through breeding programs and by providing support for field conservation. They are also some of the best places to see and learn about amphibians from around the world. Look for the ARAZPA logo whenever you visit a zoo, museum or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. There are 29 ARAZPA institutions in New Zealand.
- Create amphibian friendly environments by providing clean water, hiding places, and insects to eat. Prime amphibian real estate includes leaf litter, rocks, logs, and a source of water - backyard ponds make a great family project!
- Don’t pollute. Do your part to keep garbage, chemicals, and non-native plants and animals out of the natural environment. Amphibians absorb chemicals through their skins easily and are sensitive to competition and becoming prey to non-native species.
- Be a responsible pet owner. Discourage your canine and feline family members from pestering wildlife, especially frogs and birds. Curious cats and digging dogs cause a lot of stress for frightened amphibians. Please don't release your pet frogs into the wild as they may be carrying a disease that could wipe out local frog populations.
- Conserve water at home, school and work. The water you save now remains a clean habitat for wild amphibians without being chemically treated. For example, save water by using collected rainwater for watering gardens and potted plants.
- Reduce the use of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas. Climate change is impacting amphibian populations worldwide. By using less energy or choosing renewable sources of energy, you can help slow the rate of climate change. Drive less, buy fuel-efficient cars, and use compact fluorescent light bulbs!
- Be an amphibian champion. Donate to NZFROG or The Amphibian Ark project. Participate in citizen-science monitoring programs with your family. Be aware of legislation affecting wildlife and their habitat, global warming, and land use/development issues.
(Adapted from AZA)