02/12/17

Winners 2016 Photo Contests

Frogs Are Green thanks photographers from around the world for entering our annual two contests, Frogs in the Wild and Backyard Frogs.

The entries were creative, exceptional and came in from our own New Jersey, states around the USA, and countries such as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Australia.

We thank the judges for their selections and applaud their effort.

Winners of the 2016 Frogs in the Wild Photo Contest

1st Place: Juan David Fernandez, Hypsiboas punctatus, Colombia
2nd Place: Ronald Zimmerman, Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) from Costa Rica.
3rd Place: Sebastian Di Domenico, Hypsiboas picturatus, Ecuador

Honorable Mentions:
Juan David Fernandez, Dendrobates truncatus, yellow-striped poison frog, Colombia
Sebastian Moreno, Oophaga histrionica, Colombia

 

Winners of the 2016 Backyard Frogs Photo Contest

1st Place: Hannah Sigler, Williamsburg, Iowa, Tree frog
2nd Place: Melville Osborne, late season Gray Tree Frog, Roxbury Township, Morris County, NJ
3rd Place: Nic Crampton, Green-Eyed Tree Frog, Litoria serrata, Queensland, Australia

Honorable Mentions:
Melville Osborne, Gray Tree Frog, New Jersey
Ewelina Zjezdzalka, frog from the Canary Islands

02/6/17

Winners 2016 Kids Art Contest – Part Two

PART TWO

Frogs Are Green thanks all the children from around the world for participating in our annual Kids Art Contest! The variety of subject, medium and cultural diversity made choosing incredibly hard! We also thank the parents and teachers that helped children learn more about frogs and bugs!

This year we received 1441 artworks from 32 countries and almost every state in the USA! Here in New Jersey I’m proud to share that the Wallace Elementary School of Hoboken submitted 400 artworks! That is a school project to be proud of! Jersey City students also turned in approximately 75 artworks! We also received quite a lot of artwork from China, Sri Lanka and Turkey, so you will see we selected the best of each of these countries also.

We want to thank the judges and we applaud them in choosing from a field of exceptional artworks: Jonathan Kolby, Geoff Mosher, Pam Andes, Bethe Ann Schwartz, Erin A. Delaney, Sigrid Shreeve, and Valerie Clark.

All winners receive a custom certificate based on how you placed, so email us to receive yours. The 1st place winners in each of the 4 age groups receive prizes, so email us!

And now for the winners… (wait for the page to load!!)

WINNERS by Categories

Best Black and White Artwork

1st Place: Minsoo Jung, 11 years old, USA
2nd Place: Seyoung Bae, 11 years old, USA
3rd Place: Shanmukh Gollu, 16 years old, India

Honorable Mentions:

Arriyah Rivera, 9 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Dheeman Gangopadhyay, 13 years old, UAE
Junu Sim, 9 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Nylah Rosado, 11 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Zoriah Calcano, 9 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA

Best Typographic Artwork

1st Place: Colin Song, 16 years old, USA
2nd Place: Lynn Sun, 8 years old, NJ, USA
3rd Place: Riya Roshan Joseph, 15 years old, UAE

Honorable Mention:

Gusti Ayu Wedha Putri Surya, 10 years old, Indonesia

Best Artworks from Jersey City, NJ, USA

1st Place: George Azmy, 17 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA
2nd Place: Darinka Arones, 8th grade, Jersey City, NJ, USA
3rd Place: Jeffry Bello, 15 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Gregory Garcia, 10 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA
Rosemary Rosario, 9 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA
Shivangi Pastagia, 16 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Best Artworks from Hoboken, NJ, USA

1st Place: Ciara Groomes, 11 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
2nd Place: Nylah Rosado, 11 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
3rd Place: Sarah Burns, 8 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Amber Rodriguez, 9 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Ava DiGiacomo, 8 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Elizabeth Bright, 9 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA
Jayanna Wheeler, 7 years old, Hoboken, NJ, USA

Best Artwork from Sri Lanka

1st Place: Geethma Tashani Thalangama, 13 years old, Sri Lanka
2nd Place: W. W. Lakindu Chamindra Mendis, 6 years old, Sri Lanka
3rd Place: Himara Hasindi Liyange, 9 years old, Sri Lanka

Honorable Mentions:

H. P. Chanuki Vimarshi Caldera, 13 years old, Sri Lanka
Thinaura Gunasekara, 13 years old, Sri Lanka
Kushan Sawinda Jayawardana, 13 years old, Sri Lanka
D. Sethuli Mevansa Jayasekara, 11 years old, Sri Lanka

Best Artwork from Turkey

1st Place: Dalya Kinsizer-Hisar Okullari, age group 13-17, Turkey
2nd Place: Nil Ozdal, 7 years old, Turkey
3rd Place: Irmak Yesim Gelirli, 9 years old, Turkey

Honorable Mention:

Bugra Ozenc, 8 years old, Turkey

Best Artwork from Hong Kong, China:

1st Place: Yeung Chi Wai, 6 years old, School of Creativity, Hong Kong
2nd Place: Lam Tsun Hay, 6 years old, Chong Hok Tong Education Center, Hong Kong
3rd Place: Chan Chi Lam, 4 years old, School of Creativity, Hong Kong

Honorable Mention:

Young Hei Wun, 6 years old, Chong Hok Tong Education Center, Hong Kong

06/29/16

Junior Herpetologist of the Year Sarah Brabec

Frogs Are Green is proud to repost this wonderful article sent to us by Lisa and Sarah Brabec. We couldn’t agree more and look forward to hearing from Sarah when she’s closer to us on the East coast!

By Anna Spoerre
Journal Star reporter

BRIMFIELD — To Sarah Brabec, herpetology is more than just the study of reptiles and amphibians, it’s a lifestyle.

On a recent day, the 90-degree weather didn’t seem to bother Brabec, 14, as she waded barefoot through a creek at Jubilee College State Park, a small green net in hand. Two large tadpoles resurfaced with the mesh — an exciting catch for the Junior Herpetologist of the Year at the 2016 International Herpetological Symposium.

“(Herpetology) is more than just a hobby,” Brabec said. “It’s a passion … something I want to spend my life doing.”

Brabec is presenting at the 39th annual International Herpetological Symposium that began Wednesday and runs through Saturday in St. Louis. There, she joins experts in discussions and programs about the scaly, cold-blooded creatures.

Sarah Brebac

“It’s just amazing how much she’s been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time,” said Jill Wallace, an environmental educator at Sugar Grove Nature Center in McLean, where Brabec likes to visit with her family.

When she was 6, Brabec joined the Central Illinois Herpetological Society. During her time there she’s presented in front of hundreds of people and helped to start a junior program within the society, said Doug Holmes, president of the society.

She said last year’s international conference in Austin, Texas — which she participated in as a runner-up — taught her that herpetology is about more than saving frogs. It’s about helping to promote public interest, she said, which falls in line with increasingly popular education-based global sustainability practices.

“The key need in conservation success is education of younger kids,” Brabec said.

Sarah Brebac examines amphibian

She began teaching children to conserve and save animals in Peoria, going into classrooms and talking to grade-schoolers about reptiles. Sometimes she brings her favorite creatures along to engage the students.

“You can hold frogs in your hands,” Brabec said. “Kids can really connect to that.”

She would know. Brabec’s mother, Lisa Brabec, said she started chasing reptiles when she was 4, always returning home with a new animal hidden behind her back.

“When they find their passion, feed it,” said Lisa Brabec, who often takes her daughter exploring at nearby creeks and ponds.

When asked about some of the more interesting moments that come with having a house full of reptiles and amphibians, she said with a chuckle, “my Mother’s Day gift went missing one year.”

Sixth months later they found the runaway snake hiding between their kitchen cabinets. Despite this, Lisa Brabec said she’s grown fonder of all slimy, slithery creatures her daughter introduces to the family.

“My parents are troopers,” the younger Brabec said with a smile.

Last year, Sarah Brabec even began writing a children’s book with a local herpetologist. But, the project has been put on hold.

“I learned that all it takes for kids is adults who think they’re capable,” Lisa Brabec said.

Though Sarah Brabec said she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do in the future, she said saving wildlife is crucial, and she wants to continue playing a role in that endeavor.

In the meantime, she and her family are preparing to move to Atlanta later this summer, where Sarah Brabec said she’s excited to find eastern narrow mouth toads.

“You can just tell some kids are really hooked,” Holmes said. “I think eventually she’ll make a career out of it.”

Anna Spoerre can be reached at 686-3296 and aspoerre@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter.com/annaspoerre.

04/27/16

The Bully of All Toads

Currently in Madagascar there is a bully. But, this is not your typical bully. This bully is the Asian toad, also known as Duttaphrynus melanostictus. The toads are threatening rare wildlife and frightening locals.

Madagascar provides a niche-like haven for these primarily lowland dwelling toads. Photo © Arthur Chapman Courtesy of Amphibians.org - Amphibian Survival Alliance.

Madagascar provides a niche-like haven for these primarily lowland dwelling toads. Photo © Arthur Chapman Courtesy of Amphibians.org – Amphibian Survival Alliance.

The theory on how they got to Madagascar is that they hitched a ride in some shipping containers from Asia between 2007 -2010. While Madagascar doesn’t have native toads, people who saw these bullies roaming knew something was wrong. And still no one knows why they have decided to make Madagascar their new home.

These toads are endangering locals, harming snakes, lemurs and exotic animals that are unique to the island. If they feed off these toads they will be poisoned, since these toads are known to be very poisonous. Smaller animals can shrink in size and as species, become extinct.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone.

Scientists are still trying to come up with ideas on how to get rid of these toads and such measures wouldn’t be horribly expensive. It would cost about $2 million to $10 million (the effort would need only a wealthy backer from the West) — but that’s really just a guess. No one knows exactly where the toads are or precisely how many are in Madagascar. There’s no easy way to find them, and there’s no quick method of dispatching them, at least not in the numbers necessary for eradication.

And then there’s the fact that no one has tried to remove invasive toads on such a scale before. There have been three successful removal projects, but they were all in much smaller areas.

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone, close up

Asian Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) in Madagascar by Franco Andreone, close up.

So it looks like eradication won’t be possible, the scientists conclude, at least without a lot more research that would let managers and the government overcome many hurdles. And by that time, the toads will probably have become so numerous that, like in Australia, any such efforts would be impossible.

 
Leight-Ann BradyGuest post by Leigh-Ann Brady, who resides in NJ with her 8 year son. She is an artist and writer who is also concerned about the environment.

03/19/16

The Perfect Pond for You and the Environment

Garden’s say a lot about their owners. You can see a reflection of the owner’s personality in how their garden is presented. If you see a garden that is frequently maintained and full of life and colour it’s more likely that the owner is a keen gardener, or maybe just has the time to dedicate towards the garden’s maintenance. If you see a garden that is lost and overgrown, then a sense of organisation may spring to mind. The overall look of a garden can also determine the way people look at a house as a whole. The garden is a key element in the overall image and it’s vital to make sure your garden gives viewers the message you wish them to receive. There are so many ways in which you can make your garden stand out amongst the rest, and a perfect way is to add features that are different and exciting. Ponds are a traditional feature that have been around for years. Many people look at ponds and instantly say no to the idea simply because they think that they are more trouble than they’re worth. What people don’t realise is that ponds are actually very useful for pest management, wildlife sanctuaries and also just look great in your garden. They’re easy to maintain and cost efficient, too. There are many different types of ponds you can choose from to ensure you get the perfect pond for your garden.

garden pond lush green and beautiful

When deciding on the type of pond you wish to go for, think about whether you want your pond to be in ground, above ground or partly in ground. Your decision should depend entirely on your garden and what will suit it best. If you have children you may also wish to consider an above ground pond, as this eliminates the risk of anybody falling in or going for a quick swim with the fish. Having an above ground pond also enables you to create your own display, you can use coloured tiles to surround the pond bed and grow plants around the area. Alternatively, if you wanted to go for an in ground or partly in ground pond you can consider the way in which you wish to display this, consider how you wish to contain, surround and line the pond. You can always make the decision that suits your garden type. There is no specific choice when it comes to the details of your pond design, which is another reason why they are so great.

Once you’ve decided on the type of pond you wish to go for, how you will line and contain it, and determined the size of the area, this will determine the wildlife that appears. Ponds are vital when it comes to wildlife, and you can guarantee that your pond will become the centre of attention for beautiful creatures like dragonflies, house martens, ducklings, frogs and more. You could have a range of beautiful fish living in your pond, to add a little excitement but also to encourage other wildlife to visit. Ensuring you feed them and maintain the water, keeping fish is a perfect way to make the most out of your pond, plus they’re like extra pets that you can keep checking on and watch, as they grow in your own garden.

When it comes to the maintenance of the pond there is little you need to do. You must ensure you keep on top of the weeds and algae; you will find most animals living in the pond will use these for hiding so be extra careful when weeding or cleaning these plants. You can use a net to remove excessive, such as leaves, dirt and dead flies. Removing the dead flies will however be done for you by certain animals living in or around the pond. For example, dragonflies and house martens will spend their time swooping down and removing the flies from the ponds surface, along with frogs and toads that will clear the water surface of any tasty little flies they can get hold of.

By Nikolaj Potanin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nikolaj Potanin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, you can consider the overall presentation of your pond. The design of a pond is important for both appearance as well as wildlife. Designing your pond to suit your home is key. You can surround your pond with shrubbery and plants to create your own little sanctuary. Growing plants around the pond may also encourage animals to create a new habitat in the plants or water surrounding. Lighting is another great feature to consider, whether you opt for in-water lighting or lights to surround the pond, they will be a huge benefit to both your gardens aesthetic as well as the nature surrounding the pond. When fitting the lights, remember to use a weatherproof junction box to ensure that you have safe fittings and the lights are protected from any weather. Lighting will add a glamorous effect and highlight your new garden feature, making it stand out and look great. Why not add other little items such as gnomes, fairy figures or magical fantasy items. These are a little bit of fun but also add character and excitement to the pond and its surroundings.

Guest blog by Jasmine Smith.

 

Additional posts from Frogs Are Green on Ponds:

http://frogsaregreen.org/keeping-your-pond-alive/

http://frogsaregreen.org/attracting-newts-to-your-pond/

http://frogsaregreen.org/pond-maintenance-tips-for-keeping-wildlife-at-your-pond/

 

 

02/16/16

Caring For Stray Frogs in the Winter

Every winter, frog lovers around the world write to us about stray frogs that wander inside. Last week a man from Maryland wrote about finding a grey tree frog.

Dear Susan,
“I found a gray tree frog hopping around inside our gym here in Maryland. I guess he was drawn inside by the heat. Well, I took him home and have him in a fish tank with water, crickets and artificial leaves for shelter. I’ve got a heating pad that sticks to the back of the tank. I was wondering how cold I could keep my home and still have the frog be ok?” – Gianni

Gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) by Robert A. Coggeshall on Wikipedia

Gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) by Robert A. Coggeshall on Wikipedia

For those of you not familiar with grey tree frogs, here’s some information and to read more, a page on Wikipedia:

The gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) is a species of small arboreal frog native to much of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.[2]

As the scientific name implies, gray tree frogs are variable in color owing to their ability to camouflage themselves from gray to green, depending on the substrate where they are sitting. The degree of mottling varies.[3] They can change from nearly black to nearly white. They change color at a slower rate than a chameleon. The female does not croak and has a white throat; however, the male does croak and has a black/gray throat. The female is usually larger than the male.

The gray tree frog is capable of surviving freezing of their internal body fluids to temperatures as low as -8 °C.[9]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_tree_frog

 

When we find stray frogs who haven’t found a place to hibernate, it’s usually because we continue to build within the areas of their habitat, and they may get lost or confused. Going inside where the heat is on shows that this frog is trying to survive through the winter. It’s wonderful when people care enough to help them.

Rescued Grey Tree Frog in Winter

We’ve found a great site with tips on how to care for frogs and get them through the colder months, so they’ll be healthy and ready to go back outside come spring.

How to Take Care of a Pet Frog

 

Here are two of our previous posts that help explain what happens to frogs in the winter:

Winter is Coming: How Do Frogs Avoid Freezing

and

How Frogs and Toads Adapt To Winter’s Chill