Michael Starkey, Chairman of SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee has been helping spread SAVE THE FROGS’ message of amphibian conservation for the past two years. He is hoping to fund their amphibian conservation efforts in Belize.
Belize’s frogs are under serious threat from habitat destruction, infectious disease, pollution and pesticides. Last January he went to Belize, where he helped kickstart the country’s amphibian conservation activities.
Like many countries in Central America, Belize is a hotspot of biodiversity and is home to 37 species of amphibians. Little is known about the amphibians of Belize and more studies are needed to understand their ecology. Loss of habitat through deforestation is one of the major threats to the flora and fauna of Belize and is definitely affecting amphibian populations. There is also pesticide usage within the country, with little to no regulation implemented in some areas. The threat of the nefarious chytrid fungus is an issue to amphibians, as it has already driven many Central American species to complete extinction.
… while there is environmental awareness within the country, there is a general lack of understanding or appreciation of the importance of amphibians. There is a greater need for more education to persuade and convince people that amphibians are crucial for maintaining the health of ecosystems and are a benefit to the people of Belize.
Cane toads are known as an invasive species in Australia, but these beautiful creatures are native to Central America and incredibly important in bringing balance to the ecosystem.
Michael will be returning to Belize in June 2012 to continue spreading SAVE THE FROGS’ amphibian conservation message and implementing programs in the country. He will be giving more presentations and growing Belize’s network of students, academics and biologists interested in amphibian conservation efforts.
See Michael’s last trip to Belize, lots more frogs and toads, and future plans at:
Michael G. Starkey
SAVE THE FROGS! – Advisory Committee Chair, Ecologist.
Dr. Kerry Kriger, Director of Save the Frogs, reports that there were 193 educational events to mark this day in 27 US states and in 38 countries.
One of the pictures from many rallies on April 28 to commemorate Save the Frogs worldwide: