From: Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published April 29, 2010 08:57 AM

A day to celebrate (and save) the world's amphibians: the 2nd Annual Save the Frogs Day

Friday, April 30th is for the frogs: educational programs, conservation walks with experts, frog leaping races, and the world's first protest to save frogs are all planned for the world's 2nd Annual Save the Frogs Day. Organized by the non-profit SAVE THE FROGS!, events are so far planned in 15 countries on every continent besides Antarctica—fittingly the only continent that lacks amphibians.

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"[This] will be the largest day of amphibian education and conservation action in the planet's history," says Kerry Kriger, Executive Director and founder of SAVE THE FROGS!.

Building off of last year's success, Kriger says this year promises a lot of new events to raise awareness about the plight of amphibians worldwide. Currently a third of the world's amphibians are threatened with extinction due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss, pollution, herbicides and pesticides, climate change, and a devastating fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, which has played a large role in declining frog populations worldwide and in several cases extinction.

Over 120 species have likely vanished in the past thirty years alone.

World's first protests for frogs

One of the biggest events for Save the Frogs Day are peaceful protests against Uncle Julio's Rio Grande restaurants in Virginia, Texas, and Maryland for its participation in the frog-legs trade.

According to SAVE THE FROGS!, the frog-legs trade removes an estimated 100 million frogs every year from the wild, raises the chances of spreading invasive species, and helps spread the highly-contagious chytridiomycosis, which is decimating frog populations globally.

"I think the frog legs protests are really cool," Kriger told mongabay.com. "They demonstrate that the SAVE THE FROGS! movement has grown and that our supporters are prepared to take action. We aren’t going to wait around for new government regulations or for businesses to voluntary police themselves,"

The organization has already had success in working with restaurants to end the frog-legs trade. They will officially announce on Friday that due to awareness-raising from SAVE THE FROGS, San Francisco's Restaurant Gary Danko will no longer be serving wild-caught Florida Pig Frogs (Rana grylio).

"They recently agreed to remove the frog legs from their menu and not to re-order them. Restaurant Gary Danko is the first restaurant in the world to remove frog legs from its menus for environmental reasons, and we expect many restaurants to follow in their footsteps," says Kriger.

The day will also be the start of a new campaign for SAVE THE FROGS! and environmental partners to ban the herbicide Atrazine.

Long seen as detrimental to amphibians and other wildlife, a recent study showed that Atrazine changed male frogs into females through chemical castration, which the researchers said likely plays a big, but unseen, role in the current amphibian crisis. There are even concerns about the herbicide impacting human health. While, the EU banned Atrazine in 2004, the herbicide is still widely-used in the US and across the world.

Article continues: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0428-hance_frogday.html

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