World Frog Day means a chance to celebrate this amphibian and its existence on the planet. It’s today and it’s a time to put the frog in the forefront of people’s minds – temporarily. Quite a lot of people have frogs as pets because they love them. My girlfriend has a plush toy frog she calls Jeremy. The toy is made by Jeremy Fisher 😃! She carries him in her handbag wherever she goes. She speaks in his voice to me on the phone as she firmly believes that Jeremy is alive and well and loved.
If you’re going to celebrate a species of animal, I think you have to prioritise what you discuss in an article like this. The first port of call is conservation. It has to be because without the frog you can’t celebrate it.
Before I briefly discuss the endangerment of the frog on the planet, I’d like to celebrate the black-eyed tree frog a.k.a. black-eyed leaf frog. This is a TikTok video and it seems as if this is a scientific facility of some sort. What I immediately noticed was the way the frog looks like a leaf when attaching itself to this pane of glass. Very impressive form of camouflage. Wikipedia does not mention this excellent form of camouflage in behavior.
Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this.
The Morelet’s tree frog is a species of leaf frog found in Belize, El Salvador, Mexico, on Dora’s and Guatemala. It likes to live in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. In addition, you will find them in subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, freshwater marshes and intermittent freshwater marshes. They are abundant within the range and kept as pets. A disease called Chytridiomycosis is killing them. Both disease and habitat destruction are the causes of endangerment of the species. A projected 80% decline over the next 10 years is envisaged by conservationists. This frog species is become extinct in some regions. It may have been extirpated in southern Mexico.
Habitat destruction is a world problem for all of the wild species. It comes about because the population of humans is growing rapidly in many countries and they eat up habitat to make way for settlements and commercial enterprises.
An issue with frog conservation is that they are described as a “high species turnover” animal. My interpretation of this phrase is that they have very specific habitats which can be quite small. In other words, they have evolved to fit in with a specific habitat in a specific area and none other. This makes them particularly vulnerable to habitat loss because they can’t find an alternative or substitute habitat when theirs is destroyed by human activity.
Further, frogs spend part of their time migrating between land and water to lay eggs and to rear their young. If people prevent this movement from land to water, they will die out. Roads and other infrastructure building can achieve this.
On a personal note, a road near me and near Richmond Park, Surrey, is closed for about three weeks around now to allow the migration of toads from a wood to another area (an Arab’s large house and huge garden). I have no idea whether this is actually happening because I’ve never seen a toad or frog do this and I don’t see any water to where the toads can migrate. Anyway, this is my personal experience as it blocks my route to the park. It’s an inconvenience but the local council is doing their bit for conservation of these amphibians.
Some of the differences between a frog and toad are as follows. Frogs have a more athletic body than a toad and a pointy nose. Their skin is smooth compared to the bumpy skin of a toad. Frogs have long legs compared to the squat short legs of a toad. Frogs have a brighter colour whereas toads have dull-coloured bodies. Frogs hop when they move whereas toads crawl.
I thought I would just add that in for good measure. You know that when people criticise animals, they say that animals bring disease to humans. Well in the case of frogs humans bring disease to frogs. We’ve introduced a fungus apparently called Batrachocytrium dendrobatidis which can kill the frog. It attaches to the skin and as amphibians take in water and oxygen through their skin this fungus messes up with their electrolytes which eventually leads to heart failure.
It has decimated entire populations of frogs in the past. Frogs are less sensitive to certain pollutants than other animals but are more sensitive to some pollutants compared to say fish or reptiles. Some pollutants have cause frog populations to decline.
My conclusion is that frogs are no different to any other wild species when it comes to their conservation and their endangerment in the wild. They are threatened by human activity. And that activity grows every year because of increased population size. Although that assessment is not universal because in countries like Germany and Russia population size is not growing – actually shrinking in Russia. But in areas where the frog is mainly present, I think that you will find that human population numbers are growing quite rapidly.
There are some more articles on frogs below.