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"Save the Frogs Day" is Tomorrow

April 27, 2012

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – The fourth annual "Save the Frogs Day" is Saturday (Apr. 28), with more than 200 educational events planned in California and across the nation, as well as in 35 other countries. Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder and executive director of Save the Frogs, says the day calls attention to the rapidly disappearing amphibian populations – threatened by climate change, habitat destruction and invasive species.

"In California in particular, we've got urban expansion; a lot of the water bodies get drained and filled in. In the Sierra Nevadas, there's big problems with introduced non-native trout. They can completely decimate amphibian populations."

Nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species are on the verge of extinction. Up to 200 species have already disappeared since 1979.

One of the larger events happening in California on Saturday is at Yosemite National Park. The park is home to many amphibian species, including the threatened mountain yellow-legged frog.

"It's being organized by Save the Frogs and Yosemite National Park, and the National Wildlife Federation, and they're expecting over a thousand people at that event. Some of these events get a lot of people who have never thought about frogs or know that they're disappearing."

Kriger says Save the Frogs is calling on California lawmakers to ban the importation of invasive bullfrogs. The city and county of Santa Cruz have already approved the ban on bullfrogs.

"They have very large mouths, and they will eat all of our native frogs and salamanders. Even the California Red Legged Frog – our largest native frog – the bullfrogs will eat them. And bullfrogs spread disease as well, like the chytrid fungus, which has caused a lot of problems."

Kriger says amphibians are a vital part of the food chain and when they disappear other wildlife species are threatened. People who are unable to attend the Saturday events are encouraged to visit the Save the Frogs website, savethefrogs.com, for ideas to create their own event.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA