Leap Year Frog Blog! Frog Facts, Martha Stewart and More
NWF naturalist Dave Mizejewski made a special “Leap Day” appearance on The Martha Stewart Show this morning, bringing along a few camera-hoppy amphibians, including green frogs, American toads, a pickerel frog and a smoky jungle frog.
Watch Martha and Dave and their jumpy guests:
- Frogs are amphibians. They start life under water breathing through gills and go through metamorphosis, growing legs and lungs.
- Females are typically much larger than males.
- All frogs are carnivorous and feed voraciously on insects and other small animals.
- As predators they play a key role in controlling insects. They are also important for agriculture, gardening and also control of insect-borne diseases.
- Frogs have very sensitive skin that absorbs liquids and gasses. This makes them “canaries in the coal mine” when it comes to monitoring how pollution or other changes are disrupting ecosystems.
- Skin secretions of frogs protect them from disease and are being studied for human medical benefits.
- One-third to one-half of all frog species are at risk of going extinct. About 120 species have gone extinct in recent years. This is the biggest potential mass extinction of one group of creatures since the dinosaurs.
You can help scientists know what frogs are hopping around your backyard by taking part in the National Wildlife Federation’s Frogwatch USA™ program. It’s fun for the whole family, a great way to get outside and it’s a neat thing individuals can do to help frogs.
This year, NWF has teamed up the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Amphibian Ark and organizations around the world as an official partner of the “Year of the Frog” campaign to raise awareness about the alarming decline in global frog populations. Year of the Frog calls attention to the alarming decline of frogs globally from factors such as…
- Global warming
- Air and water pollution
- Habitat destruction
- Invasive species
- Exotic pet trade
- Chytrid fungus