04/8/18

Amphibians and Reptiles Art Exhibit at Jersey City City Hall

Frogs Are Green is proud to showcase artwork by children around the world in collaboration with The City of Jersey City and the JC Office of Cultural Affairs for the 4th consecutive year! Just in time for Earth Day on April 22.

The curated exhibition from the annual kids art contest is up in the City Hall caucus room, so it will be visible in the City Council videos for the month of April. The best days to see the artworks are Mondays and Fridays. Just call or stop by the City Council’s office on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Below is a list of the young artists in the exhibit.

Antariksha Sethiya, 14 yrs old, India
Claire Lee, 10 yrs old, California, USA
Elcin Sefer, 13 yrs old, Turkey
Eylem Konuklar, 10 yrs old, Turkey
Fatemeh Tabrizi, 16 yrs old, Iran
Gegea Bianca, 15 yrs old, Romania
Giwoo Kim, 14 yrs old, California, USA
Ipek Liva Gurses, 5 yrs old, Turkey
John Rama, 17 yrs old, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
K.C.J. Perera, 12 yrs old, Sri Lanka
Luniva Joshi, 12 yrs old, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Lynn Sun, 9 yrs old, USA
Margaret Kelly, 7 yrs old, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Mina Buyukgonenc, 9 yrs old, Turkey
Minh Khanh Truong, 6 yrs old, Vietnam
Ng Yin Hei, 7 yrs old, China
Paulus Ong, 5 yrs old, Indonesia
Rachel Paulus, 9 yrs old, Florida, USA
Richard Alicea, 17 yrs old, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Ritvik Patra, 9 yrs old, California, USA
Shrushti Chavan, 12 yrs old, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Tanvi Gadre, 13 yrs old, India
Viktoriya Kukarekina, 10 yrs old, Texas, USA
Yanbo Feng, 14 yrs old, Michigan, USA

Any questions about this show, just let us know.
info@frogsaregreen.com

 

Sponsored by:
Remco Press of New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 

Strawesome - creating glass straws to replace plastic one

03/8/18

Young Artists Study Frogs in Belgrade

Students from around the world participate each year in the Frogs Are Green kids art contest, but we don’t always know about the lessons. I’m so pleased to share this letter we received from an art teacher in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dear Susan,

The first group of students we worked with were 13 year olds. We divided the whole class into groups and each group had worked on one area; had an electronic presentation; and their own artistic work. I must add that your project was so inspiring, that my colleague who teaches biology and I followed your recommendation on classes with six groups of students and each group had its own presentation and art project related to different areas of life of frogs. All groups performed their works of art, posters, collages, 3-d reliefs, etc., and during this time, one group went out in front of the screen and commented on the photos from their presentation. Other professors and pupils were present, so we designed the final part of the lesson as some kind of dialogue; comments and questions from the audience, to which the students responded.

It turned out that this was a very successful class. The children have responded to a great extent. In the second half of the school year, we will try something different with another group of children. We plan to make a short interactive story, a kind of dramatic play where students will make and wear masks of different types of frogs from around the world. All of them will communicate with each other and thus describe their characteristics. This new idea with masks and drama dialogs is just getting ready, so I’ll send you photos and information when it is done.

Bye, all the best,

Valentina Mirkovic
(art teacher)
“Janko Veselinovic” School
Belgrade,Serbia

01/21/18

Winners of the 2017 Amphibian and Reptile Photo Contest

Frogs Are Green wants to thank all the amazing wildlife photographers from around the world who submitted such a wide variety of amphibians and reptiles. We had frogs (of course), turtles and snakes, but we also received alligators, lizards and more! Between our photo contest and kids art contest we received entries from more than 30 countries this year! Thank our to our judges, John Dunstan, Gaye Dunstan, Sam Pesin, Beverly D’Andrea, Jerome China, and Devin Edmonds! We know how hard it is to choose!

– Susan Newman, founder,  Frogs Are Green Inc. – A New Jersey nonprofit organization.

 

Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Frogs Are Green Photo Contest

(Theme: Amphibians and Reptiles)

1st Place: Ronald Zimmerman – Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Emerald Glassfrog (Espadarana prosoblepon), Ecuador

2nd Place: Deep-Rajwar – King Portrait (Snake)

Deep-Rajwar - King Portrait

Deep-Rajwar – King Portrait

3rd Place: ©Ajay Singh Rajawat (Snake and Frog)

…And this time Reptile wins the game of death. Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog. Shot at Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh), India.

Ajay Singh Rajawat - Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog, India

Ajay Singh Rajawat – Checkered Keelback snake swallowing Indian Bullfrog, India.

Honorable Mention: Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, (Turtle)

Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, turtle

Amanda Gilbert, Loveland, Ohio, turtle

 

Winners of the “Best Amphibian Photo 2017”

1st Place: Sebastian Hernandez, Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

Sebastian-Hernandez-Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

Sebastian Hernandez, Rhinella margaritifera, Ecuador

2nd Place: Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

Ronald Zimmerman, Gliding Treefrog (Agalychnis spurrelli), Ecuador

3rd Place: Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Krukarg-Tree frog on my coneflowers in my front yard near Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Honorable Mention: Linda Bailey – Birmingham, MI – Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

Linda Bailey - Birmingham, MI - Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

Linda Bailey – Birmingham, MI – Oophaga Pumilio Punta Laurent

 

Winners of the “Best Reptile Photo 2017”

1st Place: Miriam Christine, striking eyes,  Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Miriam Christine, striking eyes,  Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

Miriam Christine, striking eyes, Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta)

2nd Place: Deep Rajwar – Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

Deep Rajwar - Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

Deep Rajwar – Red-tailed bamboo pit viper

3rd Place: Christian Spencer, Python mask

Christian Spencer, Python mask

Christian Spencer, Python mask

11/19/17

Colorful Catch Basins around Jersey City Star a Red-eyed Tree Frog

Jersey City, have you seen all the colorful images painted on catch basins all around town?

Our city wants residents and business owners to “adopt a catch basin.” When Frogs Are Green heard about this program, in which artists decorate these basins with whatever images you suggest, we claimed a drain, and now the corner of Central Avenue and Bleecker Street boasts a gorgeous, colorful red-eyed tree frog. We also just claimed the opposite corner which we call Biodiversity Matters. Environmental themes make the most sense.

Red-eyed Tree Frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

Red-eyed tree frog artwork for catch basin in Jersey City Heights.

As you walk around Jersey City, you’ll see a lighthouse, fish, turtles, sea turtles, an octopus, and many other original artworks by different artists. When you join the program and adopt a drain, you get to name it and request a certain image.

This is a great way to give artists work, clean up the streets, and show citizens where rain water goes. Once you claim a drain, you become responsible for keeping it clear from trash and, in the colder months, ice and snow. It’s a useful reminder not to throw garbage down there. Year after year I’ve walked around my neighborhood and seen trash and leaves piling up at these catch basins and trees, like a new sign post for trash. Since the city has a limited amount of street cleaners–actual people who only work main streets and only certain days– getting the public involved will help.

 

About the “Adopt a Catch Basin” program from the Jersey City Office of Innovation’s website:

“Catch basins or sewer drains collect storm and rain water from streets and sidewalks, which then travels into the sewer system. Any debris in the street and on the sidewalk can clog and block a catch basin, causing local flooding and potentially polluting our waterways. Our ‘Adopt a Catch Basin’ program empowers local residents and other volunteers to help keep catch basins clean and expand awareness of our sewer system.”

 

Once I made this commitment, I started researching what does go down the drain besides rain water and have discovered some unbelievable facts.

NJ’s sewage systems are old and in serious need of repair. Just read this article about what happened to the Middlesex County Utilities Authority in New Jersey. They were just starting to repair the main pump when Hurricane Sandy hit.

 
…Hurricane Sandy triggered flooding that knocked out the Passaic Valley Utility Authority in Newark—the fifth-largest wastewater treatment facility in the country—for weeks, sending some 840 million gallons of untreated sewage into Newark Bay, according to a 2013 report by the independent research organization Climate Central.

The federal EPA in 2008 estimated the cost of upgrading New Jersey’s CSOs statewide at $9.3 billion.

…Environmentalists warn that the high cost of fixing New Jersey’s ailing sewer systems pales beside the cost of doing nothing. While our ocean waters were deemed swimmable in a July 2013 DEP assessment, 73 percent of the state’s non-ocean waters tested failed due to bacteria indicating the presence of fecal matter. And only 3 percent of 952 watersheds were judged safe to eat, with 38 percent containing dangerous levels of mercury or toxic PCBs…

Please read the entire article here:
https://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/down-the-drain-njs-sewage-system/
 

Just imagine what this means to wildlife. Let’s all do our part in helping the environment be safe for all.

 

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.