Announcing the Winners of the Frogs Are Green 2017 Kids Art Contest!
We want to thank all the students, teachers, and parents from across the United States and around the world! We are proud to reach more countries each year and 2017 includes entries from over 30 countries and half the states in the USA.
In addition, children continue to show their creativity and inspiration, encouraging us to protect the environment and the biodiversity of life!
Thanks to our Judges (Devin Edmonds, Beverly D’Andrea, Jerome China, John Dunstan, Gaye Dunstan, and Sam Pesin) who I’m sure had a rough time choosing! Bravo to all the winners. (Wait for images to load).
Contact us to receive your winners certificate via email. 1st Place winners in age groups only should email us their mailing address to receive prizes.
GIORNATE DEL MADAGASCAR 2015 / DAYS OF MADAGASCAR 2015
The island of Marco Polo
June 12 and 13, 2015
Venice, Museum of Natural History
Isolated from Africa to many tens of millions of years, Madagascar has developed its own peculiar fauna and flora, dramatically different from that of other land masses, near and far.
Similarly colonization by man, which took place on a massive scale only for two thousand years, has seen the mix of elements Africans, Asians, Arabs and Europeans who have forged a culture of “metissage” composed of no less than 18 ethnic groups each with its particular history and traditions, have in common the basic language of Indonesian origin and the cult of the dead, called “famadihana”.
Unfortunately Madagascar is also a land of great contrasts, with widespread problems of social and economic. The days that pay special attention to aspects concerning the natural wealth and cultural diversity of this island, home to the intervention of researchers that deal with biodiversity and personnel working in health, showing how much Italy is engaged in this country.
In collaboration with the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali) of Turin and the Association “Malagasy Miray.”
Video below: Interview of Franco Andreone (herpetologist) at Andriamanero, Isalo National Park.
This video is in Italian: #madagascarexpedition2013: Betampona Rainforest
Screening of the film in English “Island of lemurs in Madagascar” by David Douglas and Drew Fellman, with narrated by Morgan Freeman and with Patricia Wright
Introduction and presentation of: Franco Andreone (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin) Giuseppe Donati (Oxford Brookes University)
Entrance to the Cinema Giorgione free until all available seats
Saturday, June 13, 2015 – Natural History Museum
10.30 Welcome and opening of the day
Gabriella Belli (Director Civic Museums Foundation of Venice)
Paola Casagrande (Director of the Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin) Randrianantoandro Solofo Theophile (Minister Counsellor Embassy of Madagascar)
Franco Andreone (Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin)
Madagascar: stories from a biodiverse land biodiverse
Giuseppe Donati (Oxford Brookes University)
Survive the next day: the lesson of lemurs
Riccardo Bononi (IRFOSS Padua)
Life, death and disease in the ancestor worship
Italian volunteers in Madagascar
Friends Amici di Jangany
The Italian volunteer in MadagascarVolontari Italiani in Madagascar
Olga del Madagascar
Culture, nature and music: songs taken from ‘album “Ma nature”
Tasting The with Malagasy vanilla
Hours 10:00 to 18:00 – Gallery of Cetaceans
Photo exhibition “Madagasikara” by Franco Andreone: throughout the day and until August 2, 2015 will be exhibited suggestive images dedicated to the nature, history and traditions of Madagascar.
Information points: voluntary associations will be on hand to talk about their experience in Madagascar
appointment until all available seats
Hours 10:30 to 12:00 and 15:30 to 17:00
Children aged 7 to 11 years
“The nature of the island”, edited by Coop. Silty
“Sounds and rhythms of Madagascar”, edited by Olga del Madagascar:
10:15, 11:30, 15:00, 16:15
For children 4 to 6 years accompanied by their parents
“The chameleon says narrates, animal stories and legends of Madagascar” by Barchetta Blu
INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS:
The day is free entry until all the places available, except for laboratories that require an admission ticket to the museum (free for residents and people born in Venice, upon presentation of a photo ID).
To book workshops call 041 2750206
The photo exhibition will be open for free only on the occasion of this day and until August 2, 2015 is required to be in possession of a ticket to the museum.
During the interview they discuss many of the issues that frogs face today, including the deadly Chytrid Fungus and climate change. One caller asks about the drought situation in California and its toll on frogs. They also talk about how many frog species have gone extinct in the wild and at the same time new species are being discovered, as close as New York. They also talk about how important the medical research is as they test the poisonous skin of dart frogs.
Dart Frog courtesy of Devin Edmonds
Almost every day, Facebook friends post on my timeline or the Frogs Are Green page, or Tweet at us about frogs and/or the environment.
I’m sharing this because it was six years ago this May that I founded Frogs Are Green, and so many people laughed at this cause. They’d say, “Frogs? … Who’s going to care about frogs?”
I’m happy to tell you that in six years we have reached over a million people. Each month we have 13,000 visitors who look at more than 32,000 pages, which gives us an amazing bounce rate of 1.8 %. Yes, that is not a misprint, we have a 1.8% bounce rate. These stats have been holding steady for years and are again on the rise.
We didn’t used to post on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn (groups) and Twitter every day, but in 2014 we made a commitment to do so and reach more people than ever.
As the above story shows, our mission is working. Awareness really begins to catch fire when others know you so well that they support and advance your campaign goals without hesitation.
It all comes from zeroing in on a niche and being consistent by sharing every day. By being “top of mind” on a particular thing that’s so different, so unique, they just see frogs and think of Frogs Are Green.
10 Tips for building your nonprofit’s awareness and following
Make sure that your website (the nucleus of your online presence) is 100% on target in expressing your mission and goals. On your homepage be brief and entice, don’t overwhelm with too many calls to action. Make sure your brand and mission are crystal clear. Be sure you are blogging and/or adding new, valuable content consistently.
Be sure when you blog, post, or tweet, you are adding an appropriate and eye-catching photo that will prompt others to share it, not just “like” it.
Be sure you are using #hashtags but don’t go crazy with them, lest no one will see or read your post… (I see this a lot on Instagram; so many hashtags I can’t find the message!)
Don’t try to sell all the time with posts/tweets about buying products, classes or donating to your cause. Once in a while is all right, but you will really build your audience by sharing significant information. As they move around your website reading articles they will come to respect your efforts and just may click that donate button on their own.
Your “competition” organization is your friend. Remember, you are both trying to help others, save wildlife and the environment, and so those that follow those other organizations may follow you too! Be kind and retweet.
If you are planning to boost or advertise, make sure you are being selective about the information and target audience. Do your homework and know where your target is, both online or offline.
Remember that your target audience can be in many different places. Be sure to review your Google Analytics each week and identify if what you are doing is working. For example, if you are spending most of your social media time on Facebook but when you look at your stats you have more people visiting your site from Twitter, you should tweet more often than you are!
People consume content in many different ways, so be sure you are creating video for YouTube, audio for Podcasting, Powerpoint (for Slideshare or LinkedIn), photo galleries on Flickr, Pinterest and Facebook, blog posts that can embed these other media files, graphic images, and more… (and then share across social sites).
When you have new media to share, don’t post on every social site at the same time and then not post for a week until the next post. Schedule different places each day so your content is circulating all the time.
Be sure to alert the local media about events and other important news so that they can write about you. If you don’t tell them yourself, how do you expect them to know? Publicity helps awareness and begets more publicity.
Frogs Are Green was fortunate to interview Robin Moore on a podcast also. Listen here >> Robin Moore
The young artist’s family and friends step out the cab and walk into the gallery one by one, parents and children of different ages. They begin looking and move down the wall, admiring the variety of each artwork. The young artist turns and as she walks across the gallery I see a shy smile across her lips. Yes, she has spotted her own artwork and moves closer to see it. I ask her if I can take her photograph with her artwork and she agrees. Her family takes pictures also.
We have a conversation about whether she had a lesson in school about frogs and the environment before she did her artwork (statement) on pollution. She tells me that she did some research but just created this based on her own imagination.
It’s a wonderful and sometimes strange feeling when one sees their artwork hanging on a gallery wall. For an artist, it’s what we all dream of. Visibility and the opportunity to share what we think.
As we’re talking, I see the parents and the other children moving around the gallery discussing the other works and taking photographs that will hopefully be shared with the extended family and perhaps on social media.
The youngest of the children takes me around to show her favorite pictures and why. She’s about 4 years old and drawn to the cutest and friendliest of the pictures.
They all say how much they enjoyed the exhibition and will be sure to do more frog art next Fall.
During the afternoon parents and children come by to see the student artworks but some people walk through the gallery on their way to a separate destination and do not even look at the walls, as if there is nothing there.
This baffles me and makes me wonder if there are some artists who think only their art is what’s important. Isn’t being an artist about appreciating self-expression, both your own and others?
Do seasoned artists think that because they are at a certain level of success, a young artist’s vision is of no consequence? Aren’t their artworks worth a look?
I believe that every person has the right to be seen and heard.
Having an appreciation of the arts (in its various forms, from dance and opera, to fine art and yes student frog artwork too) means stepping out of your own little world of self-expression and seeing what others have to say too.
The entire amphibian class is currently afflicted by a global pandemic that is accelerating extinction at an alarming rate. Until now, a few islands like Madagascar were thought not to have been affected. However, an analysis of the latest series of tests shows that the chytrid fungus also poses a threat to amphibians in Madagascar. “This is sad news for herpetologists around the world,” says Dr. Dirk Schmeller of the UFZ, who was involved in analyzing the samples and has, together with Elodie Courtois, detected Bd in samples from Madagascar collected in 2010. “Firstly, it means that an island that is home to a particularly high number of amphibian species is now at risk. Several hundred species live only on this island. And, secondly, if the pathogen has managed to reach such a secluded island, it can and will occur everywhere.”
IMAGE: Chytrid fungus was proved on Platypelis pollicaris from Ranomafana. view more Credit: Miguel Vences / TU Braunschweig
Prof. Miguel Vences from TU Braunschweig adds, “The chytrid fungus was found in all four families of the indigenous Madagascan frogs, which means it has the potential to infect diverse species. This is a shock!” The study also shows that the disease affects amphibians at medium to high altitudes, which ties in with observations from other parts of the world, where the effects of the amphibian epidemic have been felt primarily in the mountains.
“Luckily, there have not yet been any dramatic declines in amphibian populations in Madagascar,” Dirk Schmeller reports. “However, the pathogen appears to be more widespread in some places than others. Madagascar may have several strains of the pathogen, maybe even the global, hypervirulent strain. This shows how important it is to be able to isolate the pathogen and analyze it genetically, which is something we haven’t yet succeeded in doing.” At the same time, the researchers recommend continuing with the monitoring program across the entire country to observe the spread of the disease. The scientists also suggest setting up extra breeding stations for key species, in addition to the two centers already being built, to act as arks, so that enough amphibians could be bred to recolonize the habitats in a crisis. “We are also hopeful that we may be able to suppress the growth of the Bd pathogen with the help of skin bacteria,” says Miguel Vences. “It might then be possible to use these bacteria as a kind of probiotic skin ointment in the future.” A high diversity of microbial communities in the water could also reduce the potential for infection, according to earlier investigations conducted by Dirk S. Schmeller, Frank Pasmans, and their teams (published in Current Biology).
The outbreak of amphibian chytridiomycosis in Madagascar puts an additional seven per cent of the world’s amphibian species at risk, according to figures from the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA). “The decline in Madagascan amphibians is not just a concern for herpetologists and frog researchers,” says Dr. Franco Andreone, “It would be a great loss for the entire world.”
Two weeks ago I was asked to talk about environmental issues on the Techno Granny’s radio show along with Tamar Cerafici, an environmental attorney based in New Hampshire. This show covered many topics under the title “10 Plus Technologies that will help you go green and conserve the environment.”
Some things we discussed:
Why frogs are threatened with extinction and the number of issues they’re facing
How industries such as paper mills are polluting the water which is affecting frogs and possibly humans
Tomorrow morning (11.18.2013) we will meet for round 2! Tamar and I will join the broadcast again at 10 am EST, after the Techno Granny (Joanne Quinn-Smith) received so many comments asking us to talk about additional topics.
Some of the topics to be discussed:
The effect pesticides have on the environment (pollution): water, animals, soil, humans
Atrazine: The 21st Century’s DDT (Roundup)
Chlorothalonil is the most commonly used synthetic fungicide in the USA, commonly applied to peanuts, tomatoes and potatoes. (what are we eating?)
Alternatives to using Pesticides, Green Farming?
Organizations talking about this and trying to spread awareness. (Save the Frogs, National Pesticide Information Center, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency and Frogs Are Green)