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

03/16/15

Signs of Spring

Here in New Jersey the wind still roars, but in North Carolina, wildlife photographer Wes Deyton shares the Spring Peepers and Painted Turtles that are in view now that it’s warming up.

Spring Peeper with full vocal sac by Wes Deyton

Spring Peeper with full vocal sac by Wes Deyton

As you can see from the photo above, the Spring Peeper has a fully extended vocal sac for calling, but as Wes came in closer, it began to retract.

Spring Peeper with retracting vocal sac by Wes Deyton.

Spring Peeper with retracting vocal sac by Wes Deyton.


 
Last night Wes was able to trek into the woods and capture this fantastic video of a Spring Peeper calling.

 

Also at Harris Lake in North Carolina are Painted Turtles.

Painted Turtle at Harris Lake in North Carolina, by wildlife photographer Wes Deyton

Painted Turtle at Harris Lake in North Carolina, by wildlife photographer Wes Deyton

 

Learn more about Spring Peepers here: Celebrating Spring Peepers 

and Frog Call of the Week: Spring Peepers

Click to see more of >> Wes Deyton’s wildlife photography

01/20/14

The Caretta Research Project

Guest post by David Veljacic

The Caretta Research Project is an organization working with loggerhead sea turtles nesting on Wassaw Island National Wildlife Refuge, just off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. The project takes volunteers weekly throughout the nesting and hatching season and immerses them in the fantastic world of wildlife fieldwork, giving them a great opportunity to work hands on with the animals.  I was fortunate to have had the honor of working with this group for seven years, three as a paying volunteer for a week each season, and four as an assistant island leader, working the entire season.

David Veljacic measures turtle

Here is an entry from one of my work “days.”  *I’ve added explanations where necessary*

July 3/4

7:30 am – we just got in from our dawn run; Lefty  *named so as her left rear flipper was missing; this prevented her from digging her own nests* came up and started nesting at 5:45am. Mike  *assistant director at the time*, and I had Rachel (volunteer) help Lefty dig the nest this time. She was SO excited, that’s Rachel not Lefty, Lefty was oblivious. I love having the volunteers do stuff, it’s such a happy thing. It’s time for bed.

10:30 am –got up, marked and GPSed nests on the South end; Kris  *director of the project* went North and took the few crew members who were awake birding, they saw the oyster catchers!, AND, AND the wood storks are at the dyke!

Body Surfing! Awesome!

loggerhead sea turtle

Found freshly dead stranded loggerhead 15 paces north of marker 63. Did a necropsy; 56cm, male, probable shrimp net kill. I have it buried and screened at marker 63. The shrimp boats are everywhere right now, dumping their by-catch for it to wash up on the beach. It’s terrible (unless You’re a ghost crab, then You’d be rollin’ in it!), all these poor little fish and things just dead. Not to mention the pung of rotting animals, I know I said, “not to mention”, but I’m a rebel, at least here, on paper. haha.

two frogs together

Bruce  *caretaker* came by, there was a gator in the ditch pipe beside his house that needed moving. Toughest catch so far! It’s not big, but it wedged itself good’n’tight in the pipe, took Mike and me ‘round half and hour to get it out so we could catch *and relocate* it.  5’ 3”. Showed the crew, then took them to let it go in South Pond where it can’t cause any trouble. The toads are EVERYWHERE! With females dragging clumps of squabbling males clinging desperately to them. . . and the constant trill, it’s just so amazing. Found a bat caught and spun up by a golden silk spider (insert full body shivers here). Rolled some logs, caught a couple of ground skinks, giant eyed click beetles,  AND, AND a scarlet snake! Found a king snake predating a yellow belly slider nest.

David Veljacic with alligator

So . . . shortly after arriving back at the cabin we noticed that we were covered in seed ticks. Covered! I’m surprised that I have any blood left; but, after sitting and picking at ourselves, and each other monkey style I think we’re OK.

8:45 pm – time to get ready to cruse the beach for lovely ladies  *turtles.*

11:25 pm – Holy Carp! First two runs, swamped! Both ends! Back at cabin for quick break. COFFEE!!! SSK 416 dry ran  *a dry run is when a turtle crawls up the beach but chooses not to nest for various reasons* twice, both again, between markers 10 and 13  *markers are spaced 100 meters apart and are used for locating nests, among other things.* I got my favourite neophyte of the season, SSX 474 / SSX 475 again, that’s three for three for her and I this season, will we see each other again? Had 5 nests on my end and 4 on Kris’, we both had to leave people at turtles to carry on patrolling, thank goodness Bev, Joe, Tom and Mary-Ellen (volunteers) know what to do. Great week for the new team members too!

baby sea turtles

11:45 pm –  Oops, time to head back out.

6:35 am – Just in from a busy night, SSK 416 dry ran three more times before nesting 23 paces north of marker 11. My crew got 8 nests, we had to relocate one with 98 eggs, it was laid below the high tide line; Bev digs a mighty fine nest. Kris’ crew got 9 nests, 0 dry runs. 17 nests in ONE night! Kris got The Holy Roller *named due to a hole in the right rear margin of her carapace*

Now for a quick cup of coffee then I’m taking Mary-Ellen, Bev, and Joe to the Fish and Wildlife hut to do bird banding with Peter *the Fish and Wildlife Ranger in charge of the refuge.*

photographing sea turtles

12:20 pm – Back from banding. How about those horny (if You have found this diary and, for some reason, decide to read it to a small child, please feel free to substitute “amorous” for “horny”) dolphins off the Fish and Wildlife dock?!! I wish that I had taken my camera this morning, they were incredible! There were five of them leaping and cavorting about, with their bright pink bellies and their pointy red rockets waving about like flagpoles. They were at it for a long time before moving out of sight.

We banded 3 male and four female painted buntings!, a pair of blue birds, blue jays, cardinals, Carolina chickadees, white-eyed vireos, a black and white warbler, Carolina wrens (my faves., they’re so feisty!), AND, AND I got a humming bird on my last run! It was so tiny and delicate, what a beautiful wee thing. I brought it to Peter not knowing that he doesn’t band hummers, I wish I’d known, would have saved the poor little thing a walk. Oh yeah, I almost forgot (like I really could), we found a small Eastern diamond back on the trail!! Paul is coming next week to specifically band painted buntings and would like my help. Are You kidding me?! I’m in!

Um . . . why are there 6 squirrel tree frogs in my coffee mug?

Time for bed.

frog by david veljacic

06/30/11

Make Way for Turtles

This Fourth of July, you might get stuck in traffic jams or have plane delays due to afternoon thunderstorms or may experience some travel mishaps. If you were flying into New York City yesterday, however, you might have had another kind of delay: terrapins on the runway.

I saw this story last night on the Rachel Maddow show and read about it in the New York Times (the readers’ comments are fun, too).

The diamondback terrapins of New York City (and especially those in Queens) are on a different schedule than us, but it’s just as important. Terrapins spend almost all of their time in salt marsh creeks and estuaries until it is time to mate. From mid-June to mid-July they gather off nesting beaches to mate. After mating, the females wait for several days for the eggs to mature. Then the females must leave the safety of the estuarine waters to search for a nest site in the dunes.

Even the runway of one of the busiest airports in the world, JFK International airport, will not stop these females from crossing and finding a place to lay their eggs.

Yesterday wildlife specialists from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey removed about 100 diamondback terrapins from Runway 4 Left at around 10 am.

Some flights were delayed for up to 30 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, but not too many flights were delayed because this runway isn’t often used this time of year because of seasonal prevailing-wind patterns.

The wildlife specialists relocated the turtles to an ideal place on the other side of the runway where they can lay their eggs.

As quote in the New York Time article, Allen Gosser, assistant state director for New York wildlife service for the department, said, “We just take them to a part of the airport where they can keep traveling west, but in a safe direction.” Kennedy Airport is largely surrounded by water, and diamondback terrapins breed in and around Jamaica Bay. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is an important nesting and breeding area for the terrapins.

After the turtles have been relocated to their nesting area, the females will search for just the right nesting spot, well above high tide mark, so that the nest will not get inundated with water. She sniffs and digs the sand with her webbed back feet, looking for the best place to lay her eggs.

Finally when she finds the perfect spot, she digs for an hour, deposits ten white oval leathery eggs, and then covers the nest with her hind legs.

Diamondback terrapin laying eggs (courtesy of NRDC)

She smooths out the sand, hiding any signs of the nest. She then quickly returns to the surf. The eggs take about sixty to eighty days to hatch. They face many predators before and after they hatch (racoons, for example, dig them up) but about ten percent will survive.

Kudos to the Port Authority and for helping the terrapins get to their important destination on time!

Note: Information about diamondback nesting is from 25 Nature Spectacles in New Jersey, by Joanna Burger and Michael Gochfield, Rutgers University Press.