Recently on CBS, Jeff Corwin provided yet another thought provoking explanation of the amphibian crisis. He and Clorox teamed up with Animal Planet for a special that premiered last Thursday night.
November 24, 2008
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September 7, 2008
Great news that Jeff Corwin, with backing from Clorox (the first corporate sponsor of Amphibian Ark), has taped a documentary on the amphibian mass extinction that premieres this November on Animal Planet. Here’s what I cut and pasted from Animal Planet’s Web site:
Animal Planet and Clorox have joined forces to focus worldwide attention on the deadly fungus that is destroying frogs and other amphibian populations around the world through a new multimedia project called The Vanishing Frog. The film, produced by Discovery Studios, sends Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin on a worldwide mission to uncover clues to the frog’s deadly plight while also unifying viewers with a common cause of environmental and wildlife protection. The Vanishing Frog is slated to premiere Fall 2008.
From the rocky streams of coastal Australia to the jungles of South America, and even to the American West, the world’s frogs are mysteriously vanishing at alarming rates. Frogs and their relatives have thrived on earth for more than 360 million years, but now they’re under serious threat. Experts believe that as many as one-third to one-half of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species are in danger of disappearing — victims of one of the most significant mass extinctions since the dinosaurs. Why are amphibians in such dire straits? And can we take action to save them? Jeff Corwin, who has experienced the most mammoth of mammals, reptiles and marine life worldwide, will take on these questions in the documentary The Vanishing Frog.
“Frogs are incredibly amazing creatures with a variety of astonishing skills and innate abilities,” commented Corwin. “The plight of the small amphibians is — unfortunately — quite large. Frogs have been with us since the dinosaurs; they are a critical part of the ecosystem and now they are disappearing.”
“Jeff is so passionate about raising awareness for this crisis and has such a deep knowledge of the issues affecting these fascinating creatures that he is the perfect person to take us on this journey of discovery,” noted Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. “We’re thrilled that our partner Clorox has been an ardent advocate for the amphibian crisis and is taking that commitment even further by partnering with us to produce The Vanishing Frog documentary project.”
Clorox, whose namesake bleach is used in the field everyday in the battle to save the frogs, last fall became the first corporate sponsor of the Amphibian Ark’s “Year of the Frog” initiative and signed on to The Vanishing Frog project while it was still in development.
May 8, 2008
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April 30 /PRNewswire / — While trekking through a remote rainforest in Omar Torrijos National Park in central Panama for the upcoming Animal Planet documentary THE VANISHING FROG, wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, along with biologists Bill Konstant and Edgardo Griffith of the Houston Zoo, uncovered a small population of a critically endangered frog species that scientists feared had disappeared from the wild. The frogs belong to the genus Atelopus, commonly known as Harlequin frogs. The species in question is Atelopus varius, which is one of two species of golden frogs native to Panama, both of which are on the path to extinction in the wild. The specimens in question were found after an exhaustive search of a remote mountain river where the species was formerly found in great numbers just a few years ago. The specimens discovered on April 6, 2008, included a sub-adult which indicates the species still survives in an area where entire populations of amphibians have been wiped out by a deadly fungus.
THE VANISHING FROG is a joint project of Animal Planet and Clorox, which have joined forces to focus worldwide attention on the deadly fungus which is destroying frogs and other amphibian populations around the world. The film is slated to premiere this fall and sends Corwin on a worldwide mission to uncover clues to the frogs’ deadly plight. The crew was filming work of Amphibian Ark, a global alliance dedicated to saving amphibians that cannot be saved in the wild, at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama. The Houston Zoo, along with dozens of other educational institutions, universities, zoos and aquariums in partnership with the AZA, are conducting a last-ditch rescue mission and captive breeding program for Panamanian frogs, toads and salamanders at the Center.
“Some in the scientific community consider this species to be extinct in the wild,” a thrilled Corwin beams. “With this rare discovery, it gives us hope that all is not lost in the battle to save this amphibian and others. But it does urgently underscore the importance of this work and emphasizes how fast and nimble we need to be in drawing attention to this global amphibian crisis.”
“This discovery of additional animals from this population nearing extinction is very significant,” added Dr. Kevin Zippel, program director with Amphibian Ark, a global alliance dedicated to saving amphibians that cannot be saved in the wild. “The golden frogs collected by Jeff and the team will be founders for a captive breeding population. Snatched from the jaws of extinction, these animals and their descendants might someday be used to re-establish golden frogs in Panama, assuming threats in the wild can be mitigated.”
The leading cause of amphibian extinction is habitat destruction, but a deadly fungus known as chytrid has led to a dramatic increase in the rate of extinction especially in Panama, Costa Rica and other Central American countries. Additional factors include climate change, environmental degradation, and unsustainable exploitation of wildlife.
Last fall, Clorox, whose namesake bleach* is used to kill the fungus in captive breeding facilities and disinfect field equipment in the battle to save frogs, became the first corporate sponsor of the “Year of the Frog” and signed on to THE VANISHING FROG project while it was still in development. In addition, Clorox is providing funding to complete the construction of a visitors and education center at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world’s only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment.
April 1, 2008
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Wouldn’t it be great if all of these facts were April Fools’ Day jokes? Sadly, they aren’t:
Up to half of the world’s 6,000 amphibian species could go extinct in our lifetime, marking the most significant mass extinction since the dinosaurs.
To date, in the United States, only Clorox has stepped up to make a major corporate contribution to avert this mass extinction — even though just $100,000 saves an entire species.
December 18, 2007
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We are extactly two weeks away from 2008 The Year Of The Frog which needs to bring governments, companies, and the rest of us together in a massive effort to stop a mass extinction. There are a lot of people hopping as high and far as they can to build momentum leading into the big year. The previously announced partnership between Amphibian Ark and the National Association of Biology Teachers, with the congratulatory video by Jeff Corwin, is a nice start. The leadership demonstrated by Clorox, as the first corporate sponsor of Amphibian Ark, is another big win. Later this week there will be news about a New Year’s Eve leapfrog event at zoos around the world, and a cool thing that Sir David Attenborough is doing (no, the 81-year-old isn’t going to be leapfrogging, to our knowledge!). More will be announced in the weeks to come. But come New Year’s Day, there should be a steady stream of events and announcements to raise awareness, and funds, to do what’s needed to prevent 500 amphibian species from their extinction. At the very least, we know that in 2oo8:
- On Jan. 3, Sir David Attenborough will release his book on amphibians and reptiles, “Life in Cold Blood,” followed by a companion documentary. Sir David is the patron of Amphibian Ark, the biggest ally the cause could ever hope for.
- Feb. 29, known as Leap Day in the U.S., is going to be a global celebration of amphibians, and that’s when you’re going to see zoos everywhere really fire up their machinery to get the public involved.
Of course, this all boils down to money. Millions of dollars are needed to put the species into protective custody, before they disappear. You can make a contribution on the Amphibian Ark Web site.