Today is save The Frogs Day! Save The Frogs Day is the largest day of Amphibian education and conservation and has 192 events across 23 countries. Why should I care about frogs? Well, we all hate mosquito's and ticks but its not just us that hate them, they threaten Chimpanzees and Hawaiian birds. Frogs can also tell you a lot about the environment. If you find a frog that isn't going very well, that means that the environment that it's from isn't well either. Will the next geration see these amazing creatures? Over 200 different types of frogs have already met their doom and have become extinct!
So recently Michael Vella and the team at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary announced for Save The Frogs Day that they have bred the second generation of the Liems Tinker Frog in their frog box. To begin the project they only had a collection of 8 frogs! Now the Sanctuary has 150 and now have bred a second generation. This is a world first breeding program. There were once 6 species of Tinker Frogs and now there are only 3 left and the goal with this project was to save these last 3 remaining species.
The Liems Tinker Frogs threats are chytrid fungus which is a fungus that kills them within 2 weeks. Chytrid Fungus came to Australia and other countries when a introduced frog hopped into a pond and then that pond was contaminated. When other frogs then hopped in it they became contaminated, causing this fungus to spread. The process continues as the contaminated frogs travel and jump into more ponds causing lots of habitats to contain chytrid fungus. This fungus attacks the skin of the frog. Frogs skin is very sensitive and vital for their survival as they breath and drink through through their skin. Another threat is habitat destruction and feral predators.
You can help the recovery of the Tinker Frogs by:
You might remember at the end of last year I did a blog on rhino horn research to stop trafficking. The research was being done by a group of scientists at The Australian Museum in Sydney. They kindly invited me to see behind the scenes at The Australian Museum and meet with some of the Scientists at the museum. First I met Jodi Rowley a Amphibian Biologist who has discovered 15 types of new frog species including the Helen's Flying Frog and the Vampire Tree Frog which are endangered. Then I went to see the off display birds with Jaynia Sladek . There were so many. This is where I saw five different species of extinct birds. The Paradise Parrot, Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk ( there are very few in museums in the world), Huia and a bird from Lord Howe Island. But I also saw many other birds like Bird Of Paradises, Orange-Bellied Parrots, Golden Shouldered Parrots, Cock Of The Rock, Hyacinth Macaw, Night Parrot and many more. After that Kyle Ewart and Greta Frankham took me into the labs where they do their Rhino research and DNA testing. In between 1990 and 2007 only 14 Rhinos were killed a year in South Africa but in 2008 rumours spread that Rhino horn cures cancer so that is one of the main reasons that more and more rhinos are poached every year. Last year over 1200 Rhinos were poached in South Africa! Isn't that horrifying! Having Rhino Horn is just as good for curing cancer as chewing on your nails or hair. It was so awesome going behind the scenes at The Australian Museum and meeting the fantastic scientists that work there.
Check out my interview with Kyle below to find out how his research is helping Rhino conservation.
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On my third day at Sydney I went to the Australian Reptile Park at Gosford. It is one of the best wildlife parks ever in my opinion. I got an interview with the manager of the park, Tim Faulkner! He was amazing. After the interview he took me behind the scenes and showed the snake venom production room where they milk venomous snakes so anti venom can be made. It was massive. After that he had a photo with me and a Komodo Dragon and let me walk it! The Australian Reptile Park is helping wildlife conservation in so many ways. They have breeding programs for many endangered animals like the Southern Cassowary, Greater Bilby, Koala, Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby and many more. The Australian Reptile park also breeds and researchers possibly Australia's rarest snake the Rough-Scaled Python. They have made many trips to study wild ones because so little is known about them. But the one closest to Tim's heart is Devil Ark at the Barringtion Tops in NSW. This program started in 2011. Devil Ark has 150 Tassie Devils but to start with they only had 44 devils. They breed 30-40 joeys a season. Devil Ark is a world class facility and the enclosures are massive (two hectares each)! Their goal at Devil Ark is to breed 1,000 devils. Please help continue the great work being done at Devil Ark by donating or adopting a devil.I will be making a page soon for the Australian Reptile Park.
Below is my interview with Tim Faulkner and me walking with a Komodo Dragon.
Stayed tuned for tomorrow when I see some extinct birds and meet scientists helping to save the rhinos!
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I have just got back from Sydney. Over the next few days i will share with you the amazing places and people I visited involved in wildlife and environmental conservation.
Today i will tell you about my trip to Sydney Sea Life Aquarium.It was great. There I saw two Dugongs for the first time. They are just so beautiful, gorgeous and majestic and unfortunately are classified as vulnerable. Who doesn't like Dugongs. These are the only Dugongs in Australia in captivity! Their names are Pig and Wuru. Pig was separated from his mum when he was just a few days old and was found on Forrest Beach in Northern Queensland. After he was rehabilitated he was released back into the wild but he was found washed up on the beach again later, so they took him to Sydney Aquarium because of fears that he wouldn't survive in the wild. This is almost the same story with Wuru. Sydney Aquarium has one of the largest collections of Sharks and Rays in the world! Other endangered marine life i saw were Grey nurse shark, humphead wrasse, sicklefin lemon shark and many more. It was also good to see that Sydney Aquarium was educating people about shark conservation and the importance of sharks to the marine ecosystem.
See how Sea Life (the company the owns Sydney Aquarium and other Aquraiums) are helping marine life at, www.sealifetrust.org.au.
Stay tuned for tomorrows blog when I get up close and personal with a Komodo Dragon!
See my interview below with Michael from the Aquarium. A page for Sydney Aquarium is coming soon!
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Feral Cats are extremely destructive creatures! The predatory nature of cats threaten over 100 animals in Australia alone. They are the cause of many extinctions like the Pig-Footed Bandicoot and many ground dwelling birds. Feral Cats also threaten many endangered animals like the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Grassland Earless Dragon, Greater Bilby, Princess Parrot, Glossy Black Cockatoos, Bush Stone Curlew, Numbat, Major Mitchell Cockatoos, Kowari, Golden Bandicoot, Shark Bay Mouse and more. They also transmit diseases to native fauna. Unfortunately Feral Cats are rapid breeders.
But there is a solution. You can desex your cat to help reduce the amount of feral cats and put a bell on them because they are very sneaky creatures. The ringing of the bell will alarm the birds or what ever animal they are trying to hunt, scaring them away from the dangerous cat. This is the only solution because recent studies shows that culling of Feral Cats actually makes matters worse!
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The Amur Leopard is one of the worlds rarest cats! It was thought there were only 30 left in the wild. But in seven years its population has doubled to 60 in the wild! New data shows that the Leopard National Park now has at least 57 Amur leopards. 8-12 Amur Leopards were counted in areas of China. Camera traps were spread over more than 900,000 acres of ideal Amur Leopard habitat. Scientists then reviewed 10,000 images and identified nearly 60 individual animals. They can tell they were different animals because of the ink pattens on their coat.
Such a strong rebound in Amur leopard numbers is further proof that even the most critically endangered big cats can recover if we protect their habitat and work together on conservation efforts”
You can help the recovery of the Amur Leopard by:
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There are less than 600 wild Bilbies left! Their biggest threats are feral animals. Especially feral cats, foxes and hooved animals. Cats and foxes prey on them and hooved animals mess up the soil so they can't burrow. Rabbits get all the nutritious food leaving all the other wildlife with none or the less nutritious food. The Greater Bilby is the last of its kind.
There were once four types of Bilbies but the Greater is the last. One of these was the Lesser Bilby. It was last seen in 1931.
But there is still hope and you can help. You can donate to Save The Bilby Fund or Adopt a Bilby. If you are a farmer be responsable with your live stock, put three bells on your cat because they are sneaky and also spread the message about conserving this amazing creature.
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Happy Easter everyone!
The Enviro Warrior
Welcome to my blog page!