This just in from the Northeast Arkansas Frog Watch Chapter Coordinator – Ryan Smith, interpreter at Parkin Archeological State Park.
Northeast Arkansas Frog Watch had a successful first year. Two special events were hosted at Parkin Archeological State Park. The first was a volunteer monitoring workshop that was scheduled for January, but was rescheduled for February because of weather. Ten people were in attendance, including a family with a child who got quite proficient in the science of learning frog calls. They were excited and sent an audio recording of a large chorus of Cajun chorus frogs this spring.
Our second event of the year was for Save the Frogs Day. We were able to borrow some live frogs from Dr. Stan Trauth at Arkansas State University. The event was geared toward families with 16 people attending. The children were really excited to see some live frogs up close and sing a “frog chorus.” The event also featured a program on frog adaptations such as “sticky pads” for climbing, jumping ability, and mock frog tongues for catching insects. It is always nice in a program for youth to have something to take home and a “call to action” for them. This was accomplished by making ceramic toad houses they got to paint and set them out to help save frogs themselves.
Ceramic toad houses were also made at an event for preschoolers and at the park’s summer youth craft program Tuesdays at Two. Two other programs were presented on frogs. The first was for a retired teachers group and a senior living center. Older people especially enjoy hearing the songs of the Arkansas outdoors they have heard their entire lives. Both of these events gave Frog Watch USA good publicity.
Park Interpreter Ryan Smith worked closely with Dr. Trauth about documenting Bird-voiced tree frogs in Cross County. They were counted a couple of times in 2015, but unfortunately none were heard in 2016. If any are heard Dr. Trauth is going to send some graduate students to make an official documentation.
The 2017 monitoring season is fast approaching. We are hosting a volunteer monitoring workshop again at Parkin on January 21st. Mississippi River State Park approached us about doing a workshop there this year. One is scheduled for there on February 4th.
The 2017 Arkansas Frogs and Toads Calendar is now available for a $10 donation.
- Excellent images of Arkansas frogs, toads, tadpoles, and egg strings!
- Each species call and season
- Information about the citizen science frog monitoring program – FrogWatch USA
- Phenology chart for all 23 Arkansas frog and toad species
- Six images and descriptions of Endangered Species (NEW!)
- Six images and descriptions of Invasive Species (NEW!)
We printed just 200 of these calendars.
When they are gone, they are gone.
For more information and to get your calendar by PayPal or credit card,
Thank you for your support of Arkansas Frogs and Toads!
Will Doctor Frog cure you someday?
Doctor Frog and his bag of medical wonders may be able to cure your ailment! Frogs and toads produce chemical cocktails on their skins to deter predators from eating them. Those unique compounds are being used for many medical applications such as cancer cures and pain killers. Dr. Jodi Rowley of the Australian Museum Research Institute has written an excellent article about the curative aspects of “Frog Goo” which you can read HERE – Frog goo to the rescue.
Attention Gardeners (Master and otherwise)
Peg and I recently talked to Master Gardeners at the annual state meeting held in Eureka Springs. All Gardeners can do a lot to help save the Earth’s biodiversity and frogs and toads in particular. Over 40% of the world’s amphibians are currently at risk of extinction due, in part, to pollution.
Actions Master Gardeners and others can take
- Plant natives – avoid imported plants which may out-compete local species and become invasive. In addition, pollinators may be disrupted by the imports. Native species will thrive with less care than imports. One invasive to avoid is Bradford Pear Trees.
- Avoid Chemicals – Pesticides, Herbicides, and chemical Fertilizers all end up washing downstream into rivers and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Every year there is a 5,000 square mile dead zone along the shorelines of Louisiana and Texas from gardener’s use of chemicals that wash down the Mississippi River. Frogs and toads like fresh water environments! This website has natural alternatives for weed and bug control: http://www.gardensalive.com/
- Build a Pond – “If you build it, they will come.” There are lots of good articles on the internet for building a frog pond. Check out http://www.savethefrogs.org/ponds Frogs and toads will find your pond in short order. The tadpoles will eat any algae buildup and the adults will eat any mosquito larvae.
- Place a Toad House – You can get a fancy one as pictured or just turn over an old terracotta pot and knock out an entrance. Your toad will stay there during the day and may hibernate there in the winter. Be sure to place your “toad abode” under some shady foliage and make sure the bottom is open so Mr. Toad can absorb moisture through his stomach in contact with the ground.
Gardeners and Master Gardeners can have a direct impact on whether frogs and toads make it through the current mass extinction by making intelligent choices in their gardening practices.
The Sixth Mass Extinction
There have been five mass extinctions in the last 500 million years – the last one being the Late Cretaceous extinction 65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs. Most biologists think we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction that could wipe out over half of all existing plant and animal species by 2100.
How can we save Biodiversity?
Many of us understand the magnitude of this problem of biodiversity loss and what it means for us and for the planet. The question becomes, “What can one person out of seven billion possibly do to make a difference?” Economies of Scale are partly to blame for our predicament – If ten people want beaver hats, there is little impact on nature. When 100 million people want beaver hats, you have a problem. It works the other way as well. If all of us do just a little bit to make a difference, positive changes will happen.
I suggest that we apply a “Conservation Litmus Test” to our daily decisions. Don’t worry about making decisions that are the “best” for the planet – most of the time those choices are too expensive or time consuming or impractical for a variety of reasons. Use the Conservation Litmus Test to make a “better” decision. For example, you are ready to upgrade your gas guzzling vehicle. The best for the planet might be to ride a bicycle. If that is possible and practical, then go for it, but in most cases it won’t be. So you might decide on buying a used Hybrid. That is a “better” choice than others you can think of, but maybe not the “best” choice for the planet. Nevertheless, it is one that you can make and therefore make a difference for biodiversity.
Many times the better choice will cost a little extra in time or money – consider that your small contribution to Mother Earth. The Conservation Litmus Test of “better” choices can be applied to almost every facet of your current habits, and if you multiply those choices times seven billion, we’ll gradually shift the current consumption paradigm to a conservation paradigm and save ourselves and spaceship Earth.
I welcome your comments about how we can take actions to save the planet from ourselves. Send them to Tom at email@example.com
Have you ever been hiking in the woods and come across a frog or toad and wondered what kind it was? Then this Arkansas Frogs and Toads – Frog Card Deck is for you. There are full color images of all the frogs and toads on these laminated 2 7/8″ by 4″ cards with full descriptions on the backs.
You can obtain your Frog Card Deck for a donation of $10 which includes shipping by clicking the button below.
Here are two of the wonderful photos from the new 2016 Arkansas Frogs and Toads calendar:
Toad Umbrella by Joe Tucker
Toad with Birdbath Frog by MarOpps
To learn more about the 2016 Arkansas Frogs and Toads wall calendar go to www.arkansasfrogsandtoads.org/calendar
2016 Arkansas Frogs and Toads Calendar
This 8½” by 11″ full-color frog calendar includes:
- Full descriptions of 12 Arkansas species
- Images taken by Arkansans
- A chart of species calling times
- Information about FrogWatch USA
- Holidays and phases of the moon
This frog calendar is available for a $10 donation which includes shipping.
To order, go to http://www.arkansasfrogsandtoads.org/arkansas-frogs-toads-calendar
Donated by Carol and Ron Beasley
Another Frog Quilt Opportunity
We had a frog quilt opportunity a couple of years ago, and this one is even better. Master Naturalists, Carol and Ron Beasley, have donated this beautiful 80″ by 90″ frog quilt to help raise funds for Arkansas Frogs and Toads. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to raise public awareness of frogs, toads, and their habitat – why they are important, why they are in trouble, and what can be done to help them. This is accomplished through environmental and conservation education, outreach, and training of citizen scientists for FrogWatch USA™ and similar monitoring programs.
Tickets for this frog quilt cost $5 for 6 tickets. The drawing will take place next spring. You can purchase tickets by clicking on the link below and giving your name and phone number (so we can call you with the good news). Notice that the quilting has lots of dragonflies! How cool is that? Something for the frogs to eat.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE $5 FOR 6 TICKETS – GOOD LUCK!
Have you ever wondered where frogs and toads spend the winter?
They adapt to the cold in a number of ways including freezing solid and then thawing out in the spring! Learn all about these amazing amphibians during this Frogs in Winter free presentation by Tom Krohn, Arkansas Regional Coordinator for Frog Watch USA and North Central Arkansas Master Naturalist.
It will be presented at the following locations in January:
Saturday, January 3rd, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Fred Berry Conservation Education Center at Crooked Creek, Yellville, Arkansas. Call (870) 449-3484 to register or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, January 17th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Hobbs State Park, Rogers, Arkansas. No pre-registration needed