Issue 1 - September 2016

 

 

Endangered Wildlife Trust Threatened Amphibian Programme (TAP) Monthly Newsletter

 

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From the Editor -
"Frog Lady"

 

Jeanne Tarrant 
Threatened Amphibian Programme Manager

 

Hello! Or should I say Aloha?!

Welcome to our new-look newsletter, which we will be bringing to you on a regular basis keeping you up to speed with frog conservation, research and general frog-related activities happening across South Africa every month, both through the work of the Endangered Wildlife Trust - Threatened Amphibian Programme (EWT-TAP) and our affiliates. This newsletter also goes hand-in-hand with our fabulous You-Tube series of the same name, so keep an eye out for these, reported by none other than our quirky presenter, Fred Guttural!
Read More

 

 

Vegetable growing and Arbor Day celebrations at the TAP wetlands that are being rehabilitated throughout Durban

 

We also welcome contributions from my alma mater group, the African Amphibian Conservation Research Group at North-West University, our friend Nick Evans (aka Snake Man) and lest we forget the bigger things in life, we hear about Rhinos in our “Megafauna Corner” for World Rhino Day on 22 September from my colleague, Kirsty Brebner at EWT. If you would like to contribute anything as a reader, please contact us or send in your froggy pics!
Enjoy!

 

Who's Hot on the IUCN Red List?

 

Well, firstly, what is the Red List? The Red List is managed by the IUCN, was founded in 1964, and is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global status of species. What does this mean? Basically, assessments of extinction risk are made by relevant experts against a set of criteria, such as population size, rate of decline, distribution and known threats. Today, over 79,800 species (from fungus to frogs to birds) have been assessed across the globe, with the goal of assessing 160,000 species by 2020 to guide vital conservation.

 

Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups:

Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.

Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its         historic range.

Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.

Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.

Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.

Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at-risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.

Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

 

 

When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.

In terms of amphibians, to date 6,460 species of the 7,479 known species of frogs, salamanders and caeclilians have been assessed. The EWT-TAP is a proud partner of the Red List authority and has contributed to both the 2010 and 2016 re-assessments of South African threatened frogs. While the results of the recent assessment are being finalised, our stats look similar to global patterns with approximately 32% of our frogs listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. A very high proportion compared to other animal groups. Watch this space for outcomes of the updates in the coming months!

 

 

African Amphibian Conservation Research Group

 

Frogs and frog parasites well represented at Local Conference
Six members of the African Amphibian Conservation and Research Group (AACRG) presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA) held in Cape Town on the 29th and 30th of August 2016. Some of the aims of this society are to promote and sustain the study of parasitology and to promote the interests of parasitologists in southern Africa (Malherbe, 2016). AACRG presented in the category ‘Freshwater Parasite Biodiversity and Taxonomy’ as well as ‘Posters sessions’. Talks and posters ranged from first-timers to veterans and student prizes are awarded to the best presentation in each range for oral presentation and poster presentations. AACRG members; Natasha Kruger (M.Sc. student) was awarded ‘Best Senior Oral Presentation’ for her talk on “Parasite introduction to the endangered Western Leopard Toad: spill-over or spill-back?” and Roxanne Conradie (M.Sc. student) was awarded ‘Best First Time Poster Presentation’ for her poster on “Ultrastructural comparison of Hepatozoan ixoxo and Hepatozoan theilleri (Adeleorina: Hepatozoidea), parasiting South African Frogs”. Overall frogs and frog parasites were well represented at this conference.

By Natasha Kruger, MSc Student

 

 

Natasha Kruger presenting at PARSA 2016 on parasite introduction to the Endangered Western Leopard Toad

 

Roxanne Conradie and Natasha Kruger awarded respectively for “Best first time poster presentation” and “Best senior oral presentation” at PARSA 2016,

 

Roxanne Conradie and her Poster presentation on the ultrastructural comparison of two blood parasite species parasitizing South African frogs

 

 

 

 


Mega Fauna Corner

This months Mega Fauna Corner Logo is dedicated to the Rhino in support of
"World Rhino Day" on the 22nd September.

 

There are five rhino species in existence today:
 
·         The Greater One Horned
·         The Javan
·         The Sumatran Rhinos in Asia
·         The Black and White Rhinos in Africa
 
All five species are under major threat from poaching, which is a threat of such magnitude that it could lead to their extinction. Poaching has escalated dramatically due to a massive escalation in demand for rhino horn from Asia – notably Vietnam and China. Africa has lost more than 6000 rhinos over the past 10 years, and if poaching is not brought under control, these iconic megaherbivores could go the way of the dinosaurs and disappear off the planet forever.
 
Which is why September 22 -  World Rhino Day - is such an important day. World Rhino Day was started in 2010 by WFF-South Africa and soon became an annual international event. It is an opportunity to celebrate both African and Asian species of rhino, and to raise awareness of these magnificent creatures through events organised by governments, civil society, NGOs, schools and individuals throughout the world.
 
The EWT celebrates World Rhino Day annually by hosting a speaking competition between learners at schools close to important rhino range areas. Communities are a critical element in the fight against poaching being not only the first line of defence but also provide a potential pool of poachers, and by targeting and raising awareness in the youth, we believe that we will have a greater long term impact than merely targeting adults in the community. The competition this year will include 10 schools from around the Lapalala Wilderness Leadership School in the Waterberg, who will present arguments on “What are the social, political and economic impacts of rhino poaching in South Africa? Develop an argument and present possible solutions to the impacts and challenges.”
 
This is just one of the EWT focus areas to address poaching in South Africa. Unfortunately, there is no one solution to the rhino crisis, and our approach has been to identify gaps in the poaching chain, and then implement interventions to address those gaps. Thus, we deploy tracker dogs to reserves to track and apprehend poachers; we also deploy sniffer dogs to reserve gates to detect arms and ammunition as well as rhino horn and ivory. We also deploy dogs at OR Tambo International Airport, who check bags for rhino horn and ivory. We work with communities around parks and reserves, and we work with the local Chinese community to try and prevent community members from getting involved in the illegal wildlife trade.
 
Please support our rhinos and celebrate these wondrous creatures on World Rhino Day in any special way you wish to!



By Kirsty Brebner, EWT Rhino Project

 

 

Local Frogging

 

Kloof Frog surveys

 

By Nick Evans - KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

South Africa is home to many amazing and beautiful frog species – around 125 in total. We are very fortunate. One of the most interesting and unique species though, is the Kloof Frog. Well, they’re all interesting, but I have a real soft-spot for the Kloof Frog.
The Kloof Frog, Natalobatrachus bonebergi, is listed by the IUCN an Endangered species. It is found in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, down south to Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Like with all wildlife, habitat destruction is their biggest threat.

Read More

 

 

 

Photos taken by froggers in and around Durban

 

Hadromophryne natalensis, aka Natal Cascade Frog, submitted by Nick Evans, found on Saturday evening 3rd September at the Crowned Eagle Estates in Gillits

 

Hyperolius marmoratus, aka Painted Reed Frog, submitted by Sun Bradley, found at the beginning of September in their garden in Dawncliffe, Westville
 

 

Natalobatrachus bonebergi, aka Kloof Frog, The endangered Kloof Frog and a clump of eggs,  submitted by Nick Evans, found on the evening of September 3rd at the Crowned Eagle Estate in Gillits 

 

 

Breviceps verrucosus aka Plaintive Rain Frog, submitted by Nick Evans, and 
David Knox-Whitehead, found in Springside on September 14th
 

 

Amietophrynus rangeri  aka Raucous Toad, submitted by Gary Kyle, found after a recent trip to the Eastern Cape

 

Hyperolius pickersgilli aka Pickersgill's Reed Frog, submitted by Nick Evans, found at Mount Moreland September 2016
 

 

Hyperolius marmoratus, aka Painted Reed Frog, submitted by Shirley Sage, found in their daytime hideaway September 2016
 

 

We would like to invite frogging groups around South Africa to submit their photos from the field to us, which will help submit to Museum and i-Spot This means your finds will contribute to the Frog Atlas Project in South Africa. For more information on the Frog Atlas Project Click Here.

 

We will feature 5 of our favourite images a month.  
To send us your frogging pictures:

 

 

 

 

 

Fred's Soap Box

 

 

 

Tadpole Corner

 

 

Hey kids enter this months colouring in competition


Print this picture, colour it in, put your name and age on it, take a picture of it or scan it and email it to thehoppingtonpost@nbproductions.co.za

Competition closes 15th October 2016.
 
Winner will be notified on the 20th of October 2016 and we will publish a picture of the winner in our November issue.

 

 

Tadpole Corner's Fun Leap Day for Frogs - Tanglewood Nature Reserve

 

THE HOPPINGTON POST   EP 7   Leap Frog Day 2


Cute 2016 Leap Day for Frogs Video

 

 

 

Special Feature

 

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress was held between 1 – 10 September in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Over ten thousand leaders from government, civil society, indigenous communities, faith and spiritual traditions, the private sector, and academia gathered for the meeting, and I was fortunate to be among them. In fact, I was one of a small group that were the ONLY representatives for amphibians of the entire event. Along with partners from the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, Amphibian Survival Alliance and Red List Authority, we presented a workshop with the aim of engaging more than just amphibian experts in to the realm of amphibian conservation. While our workshop was well attended, the fact that it was the only session (of over 1600 different events) focused on amphibians, certainly highlights that we need to raise the profile of these, the most threatened animals on the planet! Although perhaps this was also a reflection of the host state, as there are in fact no native frogs in Hawaii and the six species that are present have all been introduced and some of them, such as the Coqui Frog originally from Puerto Rico, possibly introduced with pot plants and is now the subject of intense eradication efforts. However, in terms of looking after our frogs, I am very proud to report that as far as our amphibian conservation work goes in South Africa, we are well on the road to getting it right!
Read More

 

At the IUCN World Conservation Congress
From left to right...
Jennifer Luedke (Red List Authority), Phil Bishop (Chair, Amphibian Specialist Group), Jane Goodall, Helen Meredith (Amphibian Survival Alliance), Ariadne Angula (IUCN), Jeanne Tarrant (EWT Threatened Amphibian Programme Manager)

 

 

The diversity of sessions during the Congress was tricky for someone like me who has trouble with decision making – topics ranged from wildlife trafficking, indigenous cultures and conservation, women and wetlands, media and social change, sustainable funding, climate change and many many more, covered at the various pavilions, knowledge cafés, workshops and conservation campuses. An overwhelming experience, but of most value was meeting new people (and putting faces to emails!) from all over the planet all with the same common goal – keeping this planet and its inhabitants thriving for the foreseeable future. Aloha and Mahalo!

 

 

A great final gesture from the outgoing president.

 

 

Here are daily highlight compilations from September 1st through to the 5th of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016:

 

Daily highlights from 1 September 2016

 

Daily highlights from 2 September 2016

 

Daily highlights from 3 September 2016

 

Daily highlights from 4 September 2016

 

Daily highlights from 5 September 2016

 

 

Important Dates

 

September - Arbor celebrations throughout the month 
Wednesday 21st - Threatened Amphibian Programme will hold a celebration at Adams Mission
19 September - International Coastal Clean-Up day
22 September - World Rhino Day
3 October - World Habitat Day
10-15 October - National Marine Week (TAP will be holding celebrations with our dune rehabilitation teams)
31 September- 4 October - KZN Symposium of Contemporary Conservation

 

 

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The EWT Threatened Amphibian Programme is supported by the following Donors:

 

 

Tap here to donate to the Endangered Wildlife Trust Threatened Amphibian Programme.

 

 

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