Why We Need to Protect Frogs
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Why We Need to Protect Frogs

Frogs are an important animal in our global environment. They are both a predator in some ecosystems and a prey, and they are an indicator species of our total global healh.

Frogs are sensitive to their environment and, as such, are considered one of the indicator species that helps to determine the health of the total environment. Frogs and toads are important vertebrates since they account for more biomass that any other animal in some ecosystems. In temperate and tropical forests they consume vast amounts of insects. In some wetlands frogs and toads are a top predator consuming fish, birds and small mammals. They also contribute to the ecosystem as prey themselves.

There are 5000 species of frogs in the world with the tropical regions in Brazil and Western Africa being the most plentiful. There is great diversity in frogs: some are toxic and some not. The poisonous frogs are flamboyantly colored and dramatic in appearance. Some of the non-toxic frogs mimic the toxic ones in color so that predators avoid them. The poisonous ones are called Poison Dart Frogs. They got the name because the natives use the toxic fluid to coat the arrows and darts they hunt with. They can be kept as pets and lose their toxicity when captured because of the change in their diet. The toxicity comes from ants they eat in the wild.

Thebull frogs of North America sing, squeal, croak, and chirp through the warm months near streams and ponds and hibernate for the winter. The noise is an invitation to mate. Eggs are laid in water in a gel. They become tadpoles in 7 to 10 days and mature into frogs in 12 to 16 weeks. Frogs do not drink, but soak up water through their skin. They can grow to be as large as your hand. Even tadpoles contribute to the ecosystem.

Frogs have long been a subject of study in high school biology. Students were introduced to dissection techniques using frogs which had previously been preserved in formaldehyde, but scientists at Hiroshima University developed a translucent frog by selectively breeding brown frogs with very pale skin. The opportunity to watch organs function and develop will surpass the former methods of dissection. The scientists can also place florescent genes in the frogs to create a laboratory animal whose organs will glow.

Some conservationists are concerned about frogs because of their importance to the environment. They are an indicator species and should be protected from use for food or entertainment. Save the Frogs is a foundation concerned with frog conservation. They have started a campaign to ban Atrazine a pesticide which interferes with a frog’s development and causes males to become females. They also encourage restaurants and grocery stores to abandon the use of frog legs for food. Other programs focus on providing habitat for frogs and protecting threatened species. Read more about frogs at these sites:.

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