06 May 2011 by Julienne du Toit

The Thin Green Line

It’s quite an odd feeling, getting a frog’s eye view of things. Leaves tower over you. Other frogs look monstrously large. Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has created such a room of illusions. Why would a (mostly marine) aquarium be mucking about with frogs though?

Almost everyone knows by now that frogs are in serious trouble. Their numbers are plummeting everywhere, and all the statistics are depressing.

Nearly half of all the nearly 7 000 frog species in the world are in grave trouble. Their habitats are disappearing, they are falling prey to the dreaded Chytrid fungus, the waters they depend on for life are becoming polluted.

Frogs are the early indicators that something is going badly wrong in the ecosystem. If they are in trouble, so are we.

Two Oceans Aquarium has become a partner in a world-wide effort to save the frogs. The project, called Amphibian Ark, aims to literally to keep species alive through captive breeding. The hope is that once situations are suitable, the frogs can be released back into the wild.

Two Oceans won’t necessarily be breeding frogs, but will be raising awareness and funds for the project. It is probably the largest collaborative effort ever between aquariums around the world.

It is a noble effort. But the best is to take a child to the Two Oceans Aquarium and see the wonder in their eyes as they enter the frog room.

Category: Wildlife

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