In honor of the fourth annual Save the Frogs Day on April 27, here are 12 photos that highlight the 'ribbiting' beauty and diversity of frogs and toads.
Four decades after Kermit the Frog first sang "It's not easy being green," amphibians around the planet know all too well how he felt. It's not just difficult being green anymore — these are hard times to be a frog of any color.
Frogs and toads today face a gauntlet of environmental threats, part of what the International Union for Conservation of Nature calls an "amphibian extinction crisis." Nearly one-third of Earth's 6,485 amphibian species are on the brink of extinction, according to Save the Frogs, a California-based conservation group.
One of the biggest factors in this has been the deadly chytrid fungus, which is blamed for major declines or extinctions of more than 200 amphibian species worldwide. But the plight of frogs (and toads, which are technically frogs) is also compounded by many other dangers. Deforestation, wetland loss and climate change are wiping out their habitats; pollution and pesticides are permeating their skin; invasive species are stealing their food; and overharvesting for food and pets is draining their gene pools.
The fourth annual Save the Frogs Day is this Saturday, April 27, organized by Save the Frogs and observed by frog fans from Oregon to Ghana to Bangladesh. In honor of the holiday, here are a dozen photos of frogs and toads from around the world, highlighting the beauty and diversity of Kermit's embattled brethren:
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP: An American bullfrog, the largest frog species native to North America, surveys its surroundings in Mountainville, N.Y. (Photo: Nick Harris/Flickr)
Chinese gliding frog, Polypedates dennysi (Photo: Martin Teschner/Flickr)
Common toad, Bufo bufo (Photo: Eddy Van 3000/Flickr)
Strawberry poison dart frog, Oophaga pumilio (Photo: ZUMA Press)
European tree frog, Hyla arborea; Note: Image consists of three exposures. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
Dumpy tree frog, Litoria caerulea (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Long-nosed horned frog, Megophrys nasuta (Photo: ZUMA Press)
Common frog with eggs, Rana temporaria (Photo: ZUMA Press)
Tree frog eggs (Photo: Geoff Gallice/Flickr)
Tadpole in metamorphosis (Photo: Dave Huth/Flickr)
Wallace's flying frog, Rhacophorus nigropalmatus (Photo: ZUMA Press)
Red-eyed tree frog, Agalychnis callidryas (Photo: Bill Bouton/Flickr)
Green toad, Bufo viridis (Photo: Umberto Salvagnin/Flickr)SOURCE
If you're planning to celebrate Save the Frogs Day 2012, check out this list of official events in the U.S. as well as 32 other countries.