Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A new tool for assesing field sites and amphibian communities in Atlanta

To supplement the Metro Atlanta Amphibian Monitoring Program data, we have initiated a Project on iNaturalist. While this doesn't replace our data collection protocol, it can be used to assess and record any amphibian observation, helping us to identify sites not currently monitored by the MAAMP and also keep a record of trends for the 28 historic species of amphibians native to the Georgia Piedmont.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We are very excited to join the Georgia Reptile Experience this Saturday (Oct 22) at the Cobb Galleria Center.

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Come and meet with us and talk about amphibians and amphibian conservation! I will be giving a talk at the event @ 11am about the global amphibian extinction crisis and our new Atlanta based non-profit — The Amphibian Foundation.

In a historically unprecedented #extinction event, almost 40% of the world’s amphibians are in decline, or already extinct. This means a simultaneous loss of 2,800 species of #frogs, #salamanders and #caecilians. We will also have some of the reptiles from our teaching collection for Critter Camp so we will have some from both sides of the foul and loathsome creatures!

We will have an large adult Savannah Monitor, Smallwood’s Anoles, a Mossy Gecko, Veiled Chameleons, Snapping Turtles and another turtle that makes a Snapper seem like a teddy bear — Staurotypus, the Giant Musk Turtle. For amphibians, we will have a Tiger-leg Monkey Frog, lots of Poison Frogs, a Horned Frog, and our angriest frog, a Dwarf Hippo Frog that if you like, he will bite you. We will have quite a few native salamanders with us as well if you would like to learn about the amphibians lurking around your own backyard. The expression ‘Foul and Loathsome Creatures’ is a direct quote from Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus, a famous 18th centrury biologist and the creator of the system of binomial nomenclature that we use today to denote Genus and species. Linnaeus equally despised both reptiles and amphibians and is responsible for lumping them together into the group #herpetology … otherwise, these groups are not any more closely related than they are to other groups of vertebrates. I am proud of my life-long obsession with the foul and the loathe some. I also encourage you to look up the rest of Linnaeus’ quote — It’s hilarious. Lastly, our new poster (pictured here) shows our larval Ambystoma logo over a gorgeous ephemeral wetland from south Georgia. Part of the imperiled Long Leaf Pine Ecosystem of which The Gopher Frog and Flatwoods Salamander are indigenous. #FoulAndLoathsome #AmphibianConservation #AmphibianFoundation #The AmphibianFoundation #GARep

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Volunteers Needed!

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The Amphibian Foundation is moving to our new location at Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead and need help! We are looking to fill a few volunteer positions for people interested in working with amphibians and reptiles, conservation, education and outreach.

This is an opportunity to work with a passionate team working on several active conservation projects.

For more information, please see our website: amphibianfoundation.org

Available Volunteer Positions, Fall 2016 - Winter 2017 

1) General Husbandry Assistant (Multiple Positions Available) (1 - 2 days/week | 2 - 3 hours/shift) Assist in the care of the living herpetological collection of The Amphibian Foundation. Over 200 live frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards, snakes and invertebrates. Assist with their husbandry (feeding, cleaning, enclosure design and care) as well as culturing invertebrates for growing live food. Volunteers will be trained to monitor health, collect data and assist experts and veterinarians. 

2) MAAMP Assistant (1 - 2 days/week | 2 - 3 hours/shift) Assist with the development of the Metro Atlanta Amphibian Monitoring Program (maamp.us). Work with Program Manager to write and send emails to connect participants, administer identification quizzes, asses field sites and maintain website. CMS web experience preferred, but not necessary. 

3) Education and Outreach Assistant(s) (Schedule TBD) Assist with the many education and outreach events in and around the Atlanta area. Events such as Open Houses, Reptile Days, Georgia Reptile Experience, Repticon as well as Critter Camp and Critter Club (critter-camp.org). 

If interested in any of the above positions, please contact The Amphibian Foundation: email: info@amphibianfoundation.org 

phone: 5627 RIBBIT | 562 774 2248 

#theamphibianfoundation #getinvolved #amphibianconservation #volunteers #volunteer #citizenscientist #citizenscience

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Come on out to the Blue Heron Nature Preserve today from 9 -12 for an open house.

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The passionate and dedicated staff from Blue Heron, the Atlanta Audubon Society and our newly formed Amphibian Foundation will be there to talk about what we do and show visitors around the incredible facility and property. The Amphibian Foundation will have live critters there, including some native species, such as our breeding pair of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). We will also have awesome reptiles and amphibians from around the world from our teaching collection for Critter Camp (critter-camp.org), such as a chill adult Savannah Monitor and the angriest frog you will ever meet, the Budgetts (or Hippo) Frog. If you want, he will bite you. The Blue Heron Nature Preserve is in Buckhead on Roswell Rd, across the street from Pikes. 4005 Roswell Rd NE. Atlanta GA 30342 #amphibianfoundation #amphibianfound #outreach #openhouse #iloveatl

Monday, October 3, 2016

Another one from the series of my last images taken of ‘Toughie’, the last known Rabbs’ Fringe-limbed Tree Frog who passed away September 26, 2016.

His death marks the likely extinction of the species #Ecnomiohyla rabborum. Here are some facts about this frog: #Toughie was collected as part of the Panamanian frog rescue mission in 2005, set forth by ABG and Zoo Atlanta to save frogs being decimated by chytrid fungus. I had the honor of working with him for almost 7 years, and in that time his sad story of being the very last of his kind had, in a powerfully sad way, made him an ‘ambassador' for amphibian conservation and awareness. Almost 40% of the world’s amphibian populations are documented as in decline, or already extinct. That means that this frog - who my son nicknamed ‘Toughie’ when he was 2 years old - is unfortunately not entirely unique in his situation. There are other species out there, blinking out before we even have a chance to recognize what was happening, let alone reverse it. Amphibians are disappearing and their declines are telling us something we need to pay attention to. It’s going to take all of us to make a difference for the amphibians, and ultimately, for us too. Some more about Toughie: He was collected as an adult in 2005, so he was at least 12 years old at the time he passed away. His actual age is unknown. His genetic material was collected after death. His genus, Ecnomiohyla, is a group of neotropical gliding frogs. Expanded toe webbing and lateral skin enables them to glide from one tree to the next. His specific name, rabborum, refers to the fact that he was named by Joe Mendelson after dedicated amphibian conservationists — George and Mary Rabb. He was featured in National Geographic by Joel Sartore, The Huffington Post by Leilani Münter, #RacingExtinction and #ProjectingChange by Louis Psihoyos and OPS. For the Projecting Change movement, Joel Sartore's image of him was projected on the Vatican while his vocalization played for over a million people. His call was recorded for the first time in 2014 and can be heard here: https://youtu.be/Mz2Ir2_O-cQ #RIPToughie #Ecnomiohylarabborum #AmphibianFoundation

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