Save the frogs

Qing An Chou, guest writer

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Most people probably never think about how important amphibians are day to day. Unless you are a Herpetologist — a biologist who studies amphibians and reptiles, or a hard core amphibian lover, you probably don’t know much about the impact amphibians have on the world. These slimy little friends are actually really good at indicating changes in the environment. (https://defenders.org/wildlife/amphibians) Tadpoles are also really good at filtering water, and indicates water quality as well.  However, according to Save The Frogs! — a nonprofit corporation and public charity, at least 200 species disappeared since 1980, yet frogs naturally go extinct about 1 species per 500 years. So why are these poor croakers dying so fast and why aren’t we doing anything about it?

Frogs face a wide number of environmental problems such as climate change and infectious disease. For example, Toughie, a Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog was the last survivor of it’s species. He died on September 26, 2016 and the media ignored his death.  

Have you ever heard of the Golden toad? Probably not as it is extinct as well. It was dying from Chytridiomycosis — a fungal infection that affects amphibians world wide.  The fungus that causes the disease likes it when temperatures are high. Which becomes a major problem when people keep brushing off climate change. Scientist do not know how the fungi kill the frogs so fast, but we do know that the fungi causes damage to the outer keratin layers of the skin. Amphibians breath and absorb water through their skin, so it becomes detrimental to the poor amphibians. 

Hawaii does not have any native amphibian species; in fact the frogs in Hawaii are considered invasive. Scientists are already attempting to get rid of the frogs in Hawaii by letting Chytridiomycosis take its toll . We are also told to report any invasive species to Oahu’s invasive species committee. However, we must look at the bigger picture; frogs that are native outside of Hawaii are in danger. We can both protect our home from invasive frog species and support frogs that are native outside of Hawaii. So what can we do to save the frogs?

Something everyone can do is to spread awareness. Issues like these don’t get as much coverage because hardly anybody cares about frogs. If you would like to, you could even donate to a charity like Save The Frogs! or Defenders of Wildlife. We need more people to care about indicator species as they tell us a lot about how much the world is changing. That’s just my Quack on that, please save the frogs.