Monday, April 6, 2009

Vanishing Frogs

Gopher Frog, Escambia County, Alabama

Last night's PBS Nature film, Frogs: The Thin Green Line by Allison Argo (she directs as well as narrates) was stunning, both in cinematography and content. The segment on Karen Lips' research on total frog extirpation in portions of Panama was especially chilling, as the same chytrid fungus may already be having some effect in our region as well. There's a great segment on reintroducing gopher frogs to a Nature Conservancy preserve in Georgia, and my friend John Jensen is featured, along with others. Last September the filmmaker and I had planned to meet at a former gopher frog breeding site in Shelby County, Alabama to show how development has hit frogs hard in some areas, but our schedules didn't work out. After last night's program, it was comforting to raise the window and hear a 6-species chorus of Barking Treefrogs, Green Treefrogs, Gray Treefrogs, Northern Cricket Frogs, Spring Peepers, and Bronze Frogs. If you missed it, you can watch the entire program here.

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