The Missouri Dept. of Conservation is putting out a smart list of things we can do to help amphibians. (I would add a seventh and eighth: Help pay for the millions of dollars needed to coordinate the rescue of hundreds of species by contributing to Amphibian Ark, and sign the online petition.) Here’s the Missouri Dept. of Conservation’s list as reported in Kansas City infoZine:
Nothing benefits amphibians more directly than providing clean, safe places where they can live. If you already have a pond or stream on your property, enhance its habitat value by ensuring there are logs, rocks, vegetation and other places for them to perch or hide. If you don’t have water on your land, consider building a lake or backyard pond.
Keep garbage, trash and chemicals out of lakes and streams by disposing of them properly. Apply only as much fertilizer as necessary to lawns, gardens and crops, and use natural methods to control weeds and insects when possible.
KEEP EXOTICS OUT
Plants and animals imported from other areas can decimate native amphibian species or degrade habitat quality. Don’t buy exotic pets or release them into the wild. Also avoid releasing live bait that is left over after fishing. Instead, put it in trash receptacles far from water.
Reduce your water consumption by catching rainwater and using it to water gardens and potted plants. Untreated water has no chlorine, making it better for plants. It also leaves more water in lakes and streams for amphibians.
Driving less, setting your thermostat back and using energy-efficient light bulbs reduce pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Buying fuel-efficient vehicles and choosing renewable energy sources helps, too.
INCREASE YOUR AMPHIBIAN SAVVY
Go online or visit a library to learn more about the world’s 6,000-plus amphibian species and what is troubling them. Knowledge is power.