“When we save the frogs, we’re protecting all our wildlife, all our ecosystems and all humans.”
Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!
Washington DC, Save The Frogs Day, April 29 2011.
Fethiye’s frogs are our friends
Fethiye’s frogs are one of the most wonderful natural sounds that you’ll hear this time of year. Fethiye’s amphibian friends are diminutive in terms of size; however, they make up for that by their croaking. When they mass together in large groups, usually at or after dusk, you can hardly hear yourself think! Indeed, a froggy chorus is one of the key signs that spring has arrived and summer is not far behind.
If you think we’re exaggerating, then listen to this!
[Turn up the volume for the full froggy effect]
But what do we really know about frogs? Well, it turns out that tomorrow, 29th April 2017, is International Save the Frogs Day… so let’s dive into the fascinating world of herpetology.
Why do frogs croak?
You’ve probably guessed why frogs croak (and its the males) but we’ll tell you anyway: it all boils down to mating. Female frogs are attracted by the croaking of the males; choosing the one with the most appealing croak for a mate. Male frogs also croak to lay claim to their territory. Their loud croaking at night is a way of warning each other to keep off their patch.
Fethiye’s frogs, like most but not all, are amphibious. The word amphibian is derived from Greek and means ‘two lives’. This is because they spend their larval stage as aquatic, herbivorous tadpoles, and their adult stage as terrestrial carnivore. The transformation from tadpole to frog is called metamorphosis.
The marvel of metamorphosis
All shapes and sizes
The frog has been around in their current form for 250 million years… and they come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest frogs are the Paedophryne dekot and Paedophryne verrucosa from Papua New Guinea. These are only 9 mm in length.
The largest, on the other hand, is the appropriately named Goliath Frog Conraua goliath, which lives in western Africa. They can grow to be over 30 cm (1 ft) long, and weigh over 3 kg (6.6 lbs).
Fethiye’s “green canary”
A “green canary” we hear you say? Canaries aren’t green! We know that! But but apart from being a sign of spring, frogs are also an environmental indicator; a sort of green canary. If they are thriving, all is well with their world but equally, their silence can only mean one thing, something is wrong.
The environmental problems that result in a decline in frog populations include pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. For more information click here.
Frogs are heroes!
Frogs eat mosquitoes; provide us with medical advances; serve as food for other animals and their tadpoles filter our drinking water. If you want to read more about this, click here.
Do your bit to help Fethiye’s frogs
Do you keep water in your swimming pool during the winter months? Is it full of frogs, tadpoles and frogspawn? To help the frogs to come and go as they please, make sure that there’s a few platforms for frogs to climb onto… These can be made from a piece of wood, for example. Anythings that floats. With these in the water you can pull the platform to the side of the pool with the pool net and carefully remove the occupants, placing them somewhere safe and damp.
Make a froggy paradise
Before you clean the pool for the summer, why not build a pond or, even better, a wetland area in your garden? By doing this the frogs will have somewhere to go once you have added chemicals to the water. You can put frogspawn in the pond too but be sure to keep the area wet.
If you are thinking about making a pond or a wetland area, click here.
What to read more?
There’s a lot more to learn about International Save the Frogs Day, and frogs themselves, on the informative and fascinating Save the Frogs website.