Ecological art multimedia event in Janko Veselinovic school, Belgrade, Serbia

from Valentina Mirkovic

I want to share with you my impressions and to tell you that we performed our ecological-art event in our school. In fact, it turned into more of a lecture, because we decided to be much more serious this year. The only thing that we didn`t manage to do was to include 4th graders, but that would be something for the next time…

We chose Earth Day as the day for our performance. It was a public class, in the lobby, for all students and teachers. This time, we gave students a more scientific task. One group of children got to work on PP presentations and they had to explore the rainforest as a natural phenomenon from a geographical and biological point of view. And, of course with ecological aspects, in another words, what happens to nature due to pollution, greenhouse effect, global melting… etc. and what might become of our beautiful rainforests all over the world. What species are already extinct and which, unfortunately, will be, very likely…

After that serious and warning introduction, we continued, with a second group of students, and the story of the artistic side of the project. They explained what could be done and that art is one way to focus attention on the growing problem. Here, we devoted more talks about the international children`s art competition, which we`ve participated in for the second year, and about the whole idea of your site “Frogs Are Green” which inspired us.

Some of the kids presented their art works and spoke about the virtual gallery where ours and also artworks of other children from all over the world could be seen. At the end, two girls read your text, in English and Serbian, from the blog, “My green dream.” My colleagues and I thought that this letter is so universal and carries the thoughts that we share. And that would be it! We`re sending photos of all of us who participated and looking forward to some new cooperation and ideas in the future!

One more thing, one request! Could I ask for some sort of confirmation for us as teachers, that we, with our students participated in an international project. They are asking us that from our school administration. I have downloaded certificates for children, but, what do you think, whether they could be used for teachers too? If you think it is ok, then I could use those certificates, just with our names, teachers names… If you have any other idea or suggestion, let me know. In any case, I thank you once again for support and cooperation and I hope for new competitions and ideas about preservation of the living world on our Earth!!!!!

Bye, bye, With All the Best, Valentina (and Sanja, Nevena, Slavica and Zoran. Huge greetings from my collegues too !) p.s. I am the little black haired woman in the middle, with a yellow scarf.


After receiving this marvelous email we designed the certificates for the Teachers to receive as well!

Teaching certificate for Valentina Mirkovinc from Frogs Are Green!

What’s that croaking under the Ice? It’s Winter frogs!

by Matt Ellerbeck – Frog Conservationist

When one thinks of encountering wildlife in Ontario, the winter months don’t exactly spring to mind. With the cold temperatures and often considerable snow-pact, many animals are hunkered down. This is especially true for (most) reptiles and amphibians. However, over the last few years I have had the opportunity to observe several frogs during the winter months. This includes several Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens) and one Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans).

Both of these frog species are semi-aquatic and often over-winter in streams or other bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom. Another important attribute of over-wintering sites is highly oxygenated water, that can keep the frogs from suffocating. Just enough oxygen can be absorbed into the frogs permeable skins to allow them to survive such conditions.

This is why frogs do not fully submerge themselves into the substrates of ponds and creeks, when over-wintering as such burials would prevent this oxygen exchange from occurring.

All the frogs I observed in the winter were in creeks/streams with some current. Often several areas of the water were ice-free. Sometimes the frogs could be see moving around very slowly under the ice. This is why the term over-wintering is appropriate for these animals, as it is not a true hibernation due to the frogs sometimes being active (no matter how lethargic it be).

Seeing a frog in such an environment is an amazing experience!

Leopard frog under thin layer of ice by Matt Ellerbeck, Save All Frogs founder

Leopard Frog observed under a thin layer of ice.

Frogs, being ectothermic, are not usually thought of as an animal that can be active during the winter months, but this fact emphasizes the amazing abilities of frogs to survive in such intense and cold climates.

Although frogs can endure harsh northern winters, they still have a host of other threats that they face. To learn more about the conservation concerns that frog face and how you can help, please visit: www.saveallfrogs.com

Matt Ellerbeck
Frog Advocate & Conservationist


Winners of the 2018 Rainforest Photo Contest

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Frogs Are Green Rainforest Photo Contest.

1st Place, Keeled slug eating snake, Pareas Carinatus, photographed by Kris Bell

1st Place, Keeled slug eating snake, Pareas Carinatus, photographed by Kris Bell.

2nd Place, Asian Vine Snake, Ahaetulla Prasina, photographed by Shani Cohen

2nd Place, Asian Vine Snake, Ahaetulla Prasina, photographed by Shani Cohen

3rd Place, A nonchalant frog by Elliot Pelling, photographer

3rd Place, A nonchalant frog by Elliot Pelling, photographer

Maned Forest Lizard (Broncochela jubata), Farits Alhadi

Maned Forest Lizard (Broncochela jubata), Farits Alhadi

Harlequin Tree Frog (Rhacophorus pardalis)-South Kalimantan, Zain Basriansyah

Harlequin Tree Frog (Rhacophorus pardalis)-South Kalimantan, Zain Basriansyah

Farits Alhadi, Chiromantis vittiger, The male guarding his eggs until hatching, Indonesia

Farits Alhadi, Chiromantis vittiger, The male guarding his eggs until hatching, Indonesia

Cave Racer - Orthriophis taeniurus, photographed by Elliot Pelling

Cave Racer - Orthriophis taeniurus, photographed by Elliot Pelling

1st-Place-Keeled-slug-eating-snake-Pareas-Carinatus-Photographed-by-Kris-Bell thumbnail
2nd-Place-Asian-Vine-Snake-Ahaetulla-Prasina-photographed-by-Shani-Cohen thumbnail
3rd-Place-a-nonchalant-frog-Elliot-Pelling-photographer thumbnail
Maned Forest Lizard (Broncochela jubata), Farits Alhadi thumbnail
Harlequin Tree Frog (Rhacophorus pardalis)-South Kalimantan, Zain Basriansyah thumbnail
farits alhadi, Chiromantis vittiger, The male guarding his eggs until hatching, Indonesia thumbnail
Cave Racer - Orthriophis taeniurus, Elliot Pelling thumbnail



1st Place – Kris Bell, Keeled slug-eating snake (Pareas carinatus), photographed in Thailand.
2nd Place – Shani Cohen, Asian Vine Snake – Ahaetulla prasina, photographed at Krabi Province, Thailand.
3rd Place – Elliot Pelling, A nonchalant frog. A green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) having just caught a frog (Fejervarya kudremukhensis).

Honorable Mentions:

Farits Alhadi, Maned Forest Lizard (Broncochela jubata) This lizard was photographed in West Java, Indonesia.
Zain Basriansyah, Harlequin Tree Frog (Rhacophorus pardalis)-South Kalimantan
Farits Alhadi, Chiromantis vittiger – The male guarding his eggs until hatching, Indonesia.
Elliot Pelling, Cave Racer – Orthriophis taeniurus


On the Brink of Extinction: Preserving the Frog Population in the State of New York

It is difficult to believe that such an adaptable species would ever be at risk of extinction. Many people attribute the decline in the frog population to climate change; however, wood frogs have proven to be adaptable in a variety of climates. Researchers have found that the wood frog population native to New York are capable of freezing themselves during the winter, stopping their hearts and all brain activity, only to thaw out in the spring and begin to search for food and a mate. Frogs can locate their food source virtually anywhere, but they always mate in water. Therefore, in order to attract frogs to your garden this spring, a small area with water such as a pond is a necessity.

Bullfrogs - Photo by Ken Goulding on Unsplash

Photo by Ken Goulding on Unsplash

Adaptation and Survival

Due in large part to the recommendation of Lili Winkelman, a fourth-grade student from Syracuse, the wood frog has been unofficially named as the State amphibian for New York. While the wood frog has shown an uncanny ability to adapt to its environment, according to the United States Geological Survey, many other species of frog are in a severe state of decline due to climate change, pesticides and disease. Welcoming frogs in to your garden can help to provide them with the safe and stable environment that they need in order to stabilize and rebuild their population.

How Frogs Help 

While you attract wood frogs to your garden, thereby helping to preserve and grow the frog population, they will help to preserve your garden. Frogs can be particularly helpful in a vegetable garden because they consume pests and insects. A single frog can consume up to 10,000 pests and insects in a single season. This can help preserve your garden naturally, while saving you money on pesticides. A natural and environmentally friendly space is particularly important to the survival of frogs because they breathe through their skin; therefore, pesticides are particularly toxic to them since they can be easily and unintentionally ingested.

Welcoming frogs in to your garden will not only help to grow their population locally, it will also help your garden grow naturally and economically. By building a small pond and shelter, you can help prevent the potential extinction of a species while helping your garden grow in a safe and natural environment, without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

Guest blog by Jennifer Dawson


‘Save All Frogs’ Initiative Launched!

Save All Frogs‘ Initiative Launched!

Matt Ellerbeck – Frog Advocate & Conservationist

Frogs are one of the most diverse forms of herpetofauna in the province of Ontario, boasting more species than turtles, lizards, or salamanders. Yet, there is no outreach education effort solely devoted to these amphibians within the province.

This is unfortunate as many frog species are threatened with extinction. Furthermore, the endangerment of frogs is not exclusive to regions outside of Ontario. Several of the province’s native species are in serious decline.

The Great Lake/St. Lawrence population (east and north of Toronto) of the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) is listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act. The Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is even more at risk, being listed as Endangered. Worse still, the diminutive Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) is considered extinct from Ontario.

More of Ontario’s frogs could also be disappearing, as many species have not yet been properly assessed.

This is what inspired me to launch my Save All Frogs project. With this effort I will be educating individuals throughout the province on why frogs are disappearing, what roles they play in the environment, and most importantly how they can help.

I will be emphasizing as I visit schools, camps, conservation areas and other venues that individuals can become involved with the recovery of frogs via behavioral changes, informed decision making, environmental stewardship actions, and habitat management efforts.

Education has been noted as an effective conservation tool by numerous groups and organizations. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy (ARC) states that it recognizes the need to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding of amphibians, reptiles and their habitats, which can then enhance conservation actions and stewardship practices. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust also proclaims that education is one of the most important tools in the long-term conservation of amphibians and reptiles. By raising awareness, enhancing knowledge and encouraging people to take action, real steps can be made towards conserving amphibian and reptile species.

This is why I am committed to educating the public on the plight of frogs!

Save All Frogs - Matt Ellerbeck


Salamander from the Rainforest painted on Catch Basin

Update from the corner of Bleecker Street and Central Avenue in Jersey City Heights!


Jersey City’s adopt a catch basin program is thriving! It’s very simple. Sign up to take care of a catch basin (storm drain) and the City of Jersey City will assign an artist to paint something original for you. It’s a win-win situation! The city receives help from the public to keep these drains clear of garbage and snow/ice in the winter and we get beautiful artwork that passers by admire. In addition, because they are of an environmental nature, it helps remind the public to keep the streets clean.

Swati Rastogi and Susan Newman salamander catch basin jersey city heights

Last year I noticed a beautiful artwork done by artist Swati Rastogi and requested her as the artist for my second corner (opposite last year’s frog). I was so excited when she contacted me this week because it was time for her to paint the corner.

Here’s what Swati wrote about this project:

“I never knew what a Salamander was until I was asked by the city to paint one at the corner of Central Avenue & Bleecker Street in Jersey City.

Susan Newman who adopted this catch basin has proudly named it “Biodiversity Matters” and is actively letting the residents know about the program.

Honestly this “adopt a catch basin” campaign is making the city much more vibrant and creating awareness for how important it is to keep the sewers clean.

Thank you for choosing me as your artist!.”

– Swati Rastogi


I wrote about this program last year in greater detail, so check out the article about the program and why it’s so important.

Adopt a Catch Basin Frog Art