08/30/18

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

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

02/6/17

Winners 2016 Kids Art Contest

Frogs Are Green thanks all the children from around the world for participating in our annual Kids Art Contest! The variety of subject, medium and cultural diversity made choosing incredibly hard! We also thank the parents and teachers that helped children learn more about frogs and bugs!

This year we received 1441 artworks from 32 countries and almost every state in the USA! Here in New Jersey I’m proud to share that the Wallace Elementary School of Hoboken submitted 400 artworks! That is a school project to be proud of! Jersey City students also turned in approximately 75 artworks! We also received quite a lot of artwork from China, Sri Lanka and Turkey, so you will see we selected the best of each of these countries also.

We want to thank the judges and we applaud them in choosing from a field of exceptional artworks: Jonathan Kolby, Geoff Mosher, Pam Andes, Bethe Ann Schwartz, Erin A. Delaney, Sigrid Shreeve, and Valerie Clark.

All winners receive a custom certificate based on how you placed, so email us to receive yours. The 1st place winners in each of the 4 age groups receive prizes, so email us!

And now for the winners… (wait for the page to load!!)

WINNERS by Age Group and Categories

Age Group 3-6

1st Place: Aneesha Kakar, 6 years old, Oman
2nd Place: Aliya Sakina Murdoko, 6 years old, Indonesia
3rd Place: W. W. Lakindu Chamindra Mendis, 6 years old, Sri Lanka

Honorable Mentions:

Chiang Ka Wong, 6 yrs old, Chong Hok Tong Education Center, Hong Kong, China
Elizaveta Krivonos, 6 years old, Russia
Hailey Kang, 6 years old, CA, USA
Nicole Zhang, 6 years old, New York, USA

 Age Group 7-9

1st Place: Worth Lodriga, 7 years old, The Philippines
2nd Place: Eunice Shin, 9 years old, CA, USA
3rd Place: Daniel Myoung, 9 years old, USA
4th Place: Chaewon Yoon, 7 years old, CA, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Gayeong Song, 9 years old, CA, USA
Irmak Yesim Gelirli, 9 years old, Turkey
Junu Sim, 9 Years Old, Wallace School, Hoboken, NJ, USA

 Age Group 10-12

1st Place: Minju Kim, 11 years old, USA
2nd Place: Zakiyah Hasanah, 12 years old, Indonesia
3rd Place: Shreya Venkatesh, 11 years old, India

Honorable Mentions: (We had over 600 artworks in this group, so awarding more!)

Christine Cho, 10 years old, CA, USA
Gusti Ayu Wedha Putri Surya, 10 years old, Indonesia
Icheng Huang, 11 years old, USA
Iris Yoon, 10 years old, USA
Jiyoon Lee, 10 years old, CA, USA
Minsoo Jung, 11 years old, USA
Nathan Kim, 12 years old, USA
Tanzina Tajrin Ede, 12 years old, Akibuki Art Academy, Bangladesh (2 pieces)
William Kim, 11 years old, USA

Age Group 13-17

1st Place: Ian Lee, 15 years old, MA, USA
2nd Place: Thomas Kim, 16 years old, USA
3rd Place: George Azmy, 17 years old, Jersey City, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

Colin Song, 14 years old, NJ, USA
Paula Nataniela Roba, 15 years old, Latvia
Shanmukh Gollu, 16 years old, India

Best Elder/Student Collaboration

1st Place: Siah Pei Shan, 6 years old and Ooi Ling Ling, 40 years old, Malaysia
2nd Place: Ava Paulsen, 7 years old and Charles Vicker (Grandpa), CA, USA
3rd Place: Ioanna Lepetsou, 3.5 years old and Katerina Vassilikopoulou, 39 years old, Greece

Best 3D Artwork

1st Place: Paula Nataniela Roba, 15 years old, Latvia
2nd Place: Ioana Vallimaresca, 15 years old, Romania
3rd Place: Elizaveta Krivonus, 6 years old, Russia

Honorable Mentions:

Milla Van Der Walt, 9 years old, Australia
Misa Eunbi, 5 years old, Australia
Sara Lee Farrer, 9 years old, CA, USA

Best Environmental Artwork

1st Place: Vanessa Qiu, 14 years old, NJ, USA
2nd Place: Annie Chang, 15 years old, USA
3rd Place: Colin Song, 14 years old, NJ, USA

Honorable Mentions:

George Liu, 15 years old, NJ, USA
Joey Song, 12 years old, CA, USA
Kareem Brock, 17 years old, Liberty HS, JC, NJ, USA
Laura Liu, 10 years old, NJ, USA
Madonna Botros, 17 years old, Liberty HS, JC, NJ, USA
Yagmur Kaskan, 9 years old, Turkey

Visit >> WINNERS – PART TWO <<

 
 
Thank you John Crittenden for this lovely statement! (Originally posted on Facebook.)

“Spreading art and joy around the world feels especially good at this uncertain time in American history. Congratulations to Frogs Are Green for another successful contest. Fourteen hundred entries from kids in 32 countries means the mission of spreading environmental awareness among the younger generation is being accomplished. Click the links and enlarge your own awareness of beauty, nature and how expressive kids can be.

And check out the ways you can support the mission. Stepping up for Frogs Are Green is one form of #Resistance to the ignorance and denial of facts that spurs the ongoing habitat destruction in our natural world. I’m happy to stand in the light of Susan Newman, the founder. She’s one more example of how much positive change one person can make in the world if they reach out via the Internet.”
 

12/28/14

Frog Photography and Frog Art from Around the World

The 14 judges are currently reviewing the entries submitted for the 2014 contests. There are so many incredible entries from across Jersey City, New Jersey, the United States and 32 countries around the world. The winners will be announced in January, 2015.

Here is the collected data for the 2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest: 973 Entries

32 Countries entered the 2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest

Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, England, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirate, and USA.

17 States from across the USA entered the 2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest

Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

5 Cities in New Jersey entered the 2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest

Hoboken, Jersey City, Montclair, Piscataway, and South Brunswick.

16 Schools in Jersey City and Hoboken entered the 2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest

McNair Academic High School, PS #5, PS #23, MS #4, PS #3, PS #33, PS #28, MS #38, Golden Door Charter School, PS #25, PS #21, MS #7, Liberty High School, PS #31, Hoboken Catholic Academy, and the Hoboken Charter School.

Here is the collected data for the 2014 Frogs Are Green Photography Contests:

16 Countries entered the two 2014 Photography contests “Backyard Frogs” (34 entries) and “Frogs in the Wild” (56 entries)

Australia (NSW), Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, England, Germany, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, and USA.

9 States in the USA entered the 2014 Frogs Are Green photography contests: “Backyard Frogs” and “Frogs in the Wild”

Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Below are the links to the 3 Flickr galleries, if you would like to see the imagery.

2014 Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest

2014 Backyard Frogs Photo Contest

2014 Frogs in the Wild Contest

Thank you so much for your participation and good luck to all who entered! We would love to hear from the teachers and students! Tell us what you learned about frogs and amphibians! Tell us about the art mediums and techniques you used. If you’d like to post a video to the Frogs Are Green Facebook wall, we’d love to hear from you!

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

06/18/14

Calling Amphibian Monitoring Project (CAMP)

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ coordinates the statewide Calling Amphibian Monitoring Program (CAMP). The object of this program is to assess the distribution, abundance, and health of New Jersey’s amphibians. This is part of a larger initiative called the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP) and the data collected in New Jersey will be submitted into the National database.

Gray-Tree-Frog-by-M-Patterson

Each of the 16 species of frogs and toads in New Jersey has a unique vocalization or “call” that can be heard during their mating season.

Here’s a list and call quiz of the Frogs in New Jersey:
Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)
Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)
Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
unknown gray treefrog species (Hyla chrysoscelis/versicolor)
Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
New Jersey Chorus Frog (Pseudacris kalmi)
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)
Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)
Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)
Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

The Amphibians that are listed as Endangered or Threatened in New Jersey:

Endangered Amphibians
Salamander, blue-spotted – Ambystoma laterale
Salamander, eastern tiger – Ambystoma tigrinum
Treefrog, southern gray – Hyla chrysocelis

Threatened Amphibians
Salamander, eastern mud – Pseudotriton montanus
Salamander, long-tailed – Eurycea longicauda
Treefrog, pine barrens – Hyla andersonii
 

Volunteers participating in the CAMP project conduct roadside surveys (after dusk) for calling amphibians along designated routes throughout the state. Each 15-mile route is surveyed three times during the spring (March, April & June), during the given four week period. Each route has 10 stops, where you stop, listen and record for 5 minutes. A structured protocol is followed to determine which nights to survey, how long to survey, which species are calling, and how to estimate the total number of individuals calling at each site. All volunteers receive a Calls of NJ Frogs and Toads, CD with which to familiarize themselves with the calls.

The results of these surveys will provide ENSP (Endangered and Nongame Species Program) and the United States Geological Survey with valuable data on the calling amphibian populations in New Jersey. Because each route will be surveyed at the same time and for the same amount of time, routes can be directly compared within a given year and between years. This allows for trends in populations to be identified over time and if needed steps may be taken to protect these populations in the near future.

— Larissa Smith, Biologist/Volunteer Manager, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ

04/14/14

Bartholomew’s Return Home

The story continues with Jack Stearns, a scientist and meteorologist, who had rescued a bullfrog (Bartholomew) in the middle of Winter.
 

We released Bart back to his pond a little while ago.

Enclosed are pictures of him in his carrier, sitting on the beach, and where he dove into.

I was going to switch to video after the second picture, but before I could he took a three foot leap into the pond and swam very strongly, diving into the debris on the bottom in the last picture. We were both surprised at how strong he was. I figured after a winter of hibernating he would just slowly walk into the water.

The good news from all this is that one can successfully hibernate frogs over the winter time. We had him for 3 months and 3 days and as you can see, he was none the worse for wear.

Our next project is to get a couple of bullfrog tadpoles from our local pond and put them in the tank and watch their transformation into frogs. I did this as a kid. My wife has never seen it so she thinks it would be cool to watch.

— Jack Stearns

Here is the original post when Bart (the bullfrog) was found: Mid-Winter Bullfrog Rescue

Below are a few photographs Jack kindly shared. (Good Luck Bart, we’re excited your journey continues!)

Bartholomew-frog-after-hybernation
 
bullfrog-returns-to-pond-after-winter
 
bullfrog-leaps-into-pond-swims-away