Leap Day for Frogs 2020 will be held on 29 February
Take a Leap of Faith this Leap Year….
This year just happens to be a Leap Year, so we’re inviting to to take part in our #TakeTheLeap challenge!
JUST TAKE THE LEAP!
Instead of just saying you’d like do something, like proposing to your boyfriend on Leap Day, or getting a tattoo, take the leap and actually do it! Snap a pic or take a vid and share it with us. This will give you one entry to win a frogging experience, and other exciting prizes, with the EWT.
DO SOMETHING TO CREATE AWARENESS!
Play a game of Leap Frog!
Clean up a local frog habitat
Dress in green
Paint a frog poster or write some poetry
Or anything else you can think of to raise awareness!
Share it with us for another entry into the competition
Donate towards our amphibian conservation efforts, take a screenshot, share and gain another entry to the competition.
What is Leap Day for Frogs?
Take a leap of faith at the end of February to pledge your support for learning more, having some fun….and conserving our frogs and their habitats. Frogs are the most threatened group of species on Earth. These creatures of popular folklore are teetering on the brink of extinction and unless we act to save them, South Africa too will start losing species.
Frogs are not just long-limbed long-leapers. These water-loving amphibians are extremely important in our ecosystems by providing food to a wide array of other animals and consuming vast quantities of insects. They are also important bio-indicators due to their sensitive skins and bi-phasic lifestyles. In other words, if they are around, it means our environment is healthy.
In an effort to bring awareness to these very important and beautiful yet under threat creatures, we are holding the 6th LEAP DAY FOR FROGS DAY ON 29 February 2020, which happens to be a Leap Year!
The aim of Leap Day for Frogs is to:
- Raise awareness about the global amphibian crisis and the importance of wetlands in sustaining critical amphibian populations.
- Create a platform for citizen science.
- Raise funds for conservation activities for frogs and wetlands.
- Have fun in the name of frogs!
We invite you to join one of our organised events or for interested organisations and individuals to carry out their own activities that highlight amphibian conservation and generate increased awareness.
Fun ‘Leap’ facts
Frogs can leap, on average 30 times their body length! That means that if you were a frog you could jump the length of a rugby field. This is without a running start.
Did you know that a South African Cape River Frog, called Santjie, holds the world record for Frog Jumping – the longest distance covered in three consecutive jumps – at 10.3 m? Not bad for a 5 cm frog!
Some frogs fly! This is because these frogs have webbed toes and use these as a parachute to slow down their fall and sort of glide from one object to the next.
The secret to a frog’s jumping skill lies in its tendons. These stretch out while the leg muscles shorten at this point, transferring energy into the tendons. The frog then blasts off as the tendon recoils like a spring. This elastic structure is the key to the frog’s ability to jump long distance.
Can a frog jump out of water? Yes, a frog can jump out of the water. If you have a pond with vertical sides, it can be hard for frogs to get out of the water and you need to help them a little.
How high can frogs jump? How high frogs can jump depends on the species. But, some people say frogs can jump at least 2 times their own height and the better jumpers (tree frogs for example) can jump up to 10 times their height. Frogs are much more known for the length of their jump.
Can frogs jump backward? No, frogs cannot jump backward. The only time that can happen is when they jump from an unstable surface and get flipped over. Otherwise, it just cannot be done.
Other fun frog facts
As of January 2020, there are 8,110 amphibian species of which 7,157 are frogs and toads, 739 are newts and salamanders, and 214 are caecilians. www.amphibiaweb.org
New species are discovered every year, and the most recently described species in South Africa include two new Rain Frog species, the Ndumo and Phinda Rain frogs, three new Mountain Toadlets, and several Dainty frogs.
South Africa’s smallest frog is the Northern Moss Frog, Arthroleptella subvoce, at 14 mm. It is known only from the Groot Winterhoek Mountains in the Western Cape.
Our largest frog is, of course the Giant Bullfrog, Pyxicephalus adspersus, which gets up to 25 cm and 1.4kg. They are found throughout central southern Africa, occurring predominantly in the Gauteng area in South Africa. What you need to know about Bullfrogs
The biggest frog in the world is the Goliath Frog, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which gets up to 3kg!
The smallest is a species from Papua New Guinea, at only 7mm (smaller than your pinky nail) and is also the smallest known vertebrate!
Amphibians are the oldest land vertebrates. Ichthyostega was an amphibian species that lived in Greenland 362 million years ago.
How can I get involved?
Participate in one of our events!
- Hold a fundraiser through civvies days (wear green) or a cake sale of frog-shaped cookies, cupcakes and cakes.
- Post frog flyers/posters on the school or office notice board
- Learn about frogs! Hold a class on frog biology Lesson 1 Lesson 2
- Do some frog art, or poetry
- Play a game of Leap Frog!
- Clean up a local frog habitat.
- Build a frog pond at home or at your school Tyre bed pond
Let us know what you get up to:
Who we are
The Threatened Amphibian Programme (TAP) was initiated in 2012 and aims to:
- Elevate the conservation importance of frogs and their freshwater and associated terrestrial habitats within southern Africa.
- Implement conservation actions that align with global amphibian conservation goals.
- Bridge the gap between research and on-the-ground conservation action by supporting and implementing relevant research projects.
- Drive social change to promote behaviours that support sustainable natural resource use to the benefit of amphibians and their habitats.
At a global scale, our work contributes directly to putting into action the objectives outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP, 2007), which is a high-level, cross-disciplinary strategy to address amphibian conservation needs. The ACAP is the most ambitious program ever developed to combat the extinction of species and offers practical, large-scale, creative, innovative and realistic actions that will be required to halt the present tide of extinctions of amphibian species
Accelerated loss of biodiversity in the 20th and 21st centuries has brought extinction from evolutionary time within the dimensions of ecological time, providing an opportunity to study the causes of extinction in recent, not ancient, populations. This is especially true in the case of amphibians where, since the 1980s, research has shown that modern amphibian declines and extinctions exceed that of any animal class over the last few millennia. Currently, almost half of all known amphibian species worldwide are experiencing population declines. This trend is mirrored in South Africa. Furthermore, only about 0.01% of the world’s total freshwater is readily available to terrestrial life. If amphibians are to survive, it is critical, not only that aquatic ecosystems are protected, but also that associated terrestrial habitat is secured. The degradation of either ecosystem type disrupts amphibian life cycles and affected populations become vulnerable.
The Endangered Wildlife Trust, through its Threatened Amphibian Programme, is the only NGO operating in South Africa to include frogs as a conservation focus. Using threatened frog species as flagships for the conservation of important freshwater and terrestrial habitats, we implement species and habitat monitoring, initiate habitat protection strategies at important amphibian areas, improve management of important amphibian habitat, use research to support conservation action, and promote social change to galvanise behavioural change towards frogs and recognition of the importance of their habitats in South Africa…and beyond!
Watch this space!
- Kloof Conservancy – https://www.kloofconservancy.org.za/
- Iphithi Nature Reserve & Gillitts Conservancy
- uShaka SeaWorld (Dangerous Creatures)
- KZN Coastal Frogging Forum – https://web.facebook.com/groups/1961717710812404/
- The Western Leopard Toad Committee – Toad NUTS
- Shapes of Africa, Mount Moreland
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
- Curro Schools
- Giffy Dumini – https://www.giffyduminy.com/
- Amphibian Survival Alliance
- Disney Conservation Fund
- NEWF – Nature Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers
- Penguin RandomHouse
- Post Office South Africa
- Rand Merchant Bank
- Rainforest Trust