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

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.

01/10/16

Winners 2015 Photo Contests

We would like to thank all who entered the 2015 Photo Contests hosted by Frogs Are Green! The photo entries came in from North America, South America, Australia, and Europe. We’d also like to thank this year’s judges: Florence Pape, Bea Rigsby-Kunz, Matt Ellerbeck, Irwin Qagmire Wart, and David Veljacic.
 

Winners of the 2015 Frogs Are Green Photo Contests

Winners: 2015 Backyard Frogs

1st Place: Cosmic Tree Frog in Brazil by Christian Spencer

2nd Place: Backyard friend by Kristin DeAngelis

3rd Place: Red frog in the back garden by Russ Barrow

Honorable Mention: Common Tree Frog by Uwe on Flickr.com

 

Winners: Frogs in the Wild

1st Place: Giant monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) – French Guiana by Vincent Premel

2nd Place: Dyscophus antongilii, from Antara surroundings – by Franco Andreone

3rd Place: Dendropsophus parviceps from Satipo, Peru by Josh Richards

Honorable Mention: Frog CR – 3 by @nsoste on Flickr


 

12/4/15

Environmentalism: It’s up to YOU to teach the young

It’s December and there are just 11 days left for children to enter the 2015 kids art contest, and all ages to enter the photo contest. As I watch artworks and photos trickle in, I’m wondering (as I did in 2013) why aren’t more people participating? (read >> The Young Environmental Artist)

I see a pattern here. The climate talks are on in Paris, but most are just talkers and not doers. It’s not enough to “like” and share pictures and articles on social media, and not actually do something to show you care.

My own Jersey City made me proud last year with close to 200 students from 17 schools submitting artworks. In addition, we received artworks from 17 states in the US and 32 countries around the world. The total last year was close to 1000 pieces of creative expression. It was marvelous! The winning artworks were celebrated online and in 3 well received exhibitions including an exhibition in Jersey City’s City Hall.

Jersey City is a culturally active area with a large artist community, and yet these same artists, many who have children, aren’t participating either. So, I’m back to wondering why it’s easier for me to reach parents and teachers in other countries and not those in my own area?

I’m asking you now… educators and parents to explain to the young why they should care about wildlife and the environment and I’ll continue to do my part to help amphibians and the environment too.

Please make me proud by entering today!

 

Susan Newman,
Founder, Frogs Are Green, Inc.
A NJ nonprofit organization – “Healthy frogs mean a healthy planet for all.”

Below is one of my favorite entries from 2014.

1st Place Winner, Kardelen Koc, Turkey, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2014, age 3-6 group

1st Place Winner 2014, Kardelen Koc, Turkey, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2014, age 3-6 group

09/27/15

Washington Park LIVE 2015 and Frogs Are Green

Frogs Are Green began setting up the organization’s tent at 9 am! This year, thanks to the Washington Park Association, we had an incredible spot in the front of the “Washington Park LIVE” festival with a large tent, grid bars tied to the back, and two tables! One table for displaying educational information such as our books: the teaching resource curriculum, “Frogs, Amphibians and Their Threatened Environment,” and previewing our next book, “Rainforest Frogs,” which features Haiku poetry by Caley Vickerman, illustrations by Mark Lerer, a foreword by Franco Andreone, and designed by founder, Susan Newman. We also had on display materials about the contests being open right now, the 6th Annual Kids Art Contest & the 7th Annual Photography Contest. On the back grid we hung our posters to draw the eyes… and it worked! It was so interesting hearing which posters visitors liked the most… I’ll be ordering a bunch more of each of those!

The second table we covered with some mounted posters which were tapped down, as an inspirational guide of frog image reference for visitors. Those that wanted to draw frogs, they were right there on the table! On hand were colored pencils, crayons, markers, lots of paper and even frog stickers.

We greeted over 130 people of all ages during the day, and everyone enjoyed creating frogart. You’ll see from the gallery of images below both children and adults got into it. This was our most successful event yet as we sold out of our t-shirts and a bunch of posters.

We also enjoyed dancing to the music being played on the sound stage right near us, and there were plenty of food truck vendors for us to taste assorted delights, such as lobster rolls and chocolate treats.

I look forward to seeing the photos by others showing what else was happening around us.

04/5/15

How Awareness Really Catches Fire

The phone is ringing and a friend is excited to tell me there’s a discussion about frogs right now on WNYC radio. Robin Moore, the author and photographer of “In Search of Lost Frogs,” is being interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show (The Conservation Efforts Trying to Keep Frogs From Going Extinct). At the same moment, a Jersey City colleague is emailing me about the same thing and writes that she’s left a comment about Frogs Are Green and our kids frog art project on WNYC’s website.

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 by devin edmonds

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