In terms of its effect on biodiversity, chytridiomycosis is quite possibly the worst disease in recorded history. Briefly, our goals at SAVE THE FROGS! are to:
(1) Significantly reduce the number of amphibians shipped around the world;
(2) Ensure that amphibians that are transported long distances are required by law to undergo proper disease testing and quarantine procedures;
(3) Provide scientists with the tools and expertise needed to perform necessary disease-related research;
(4) Provide commercial-scale disease testing services.
None of this can happen without your tax-deductible donation. Please show your support and donate now to SAVE THE FROGS!. Even $10 goes a long way. Thanks!
We are currently working with large restaurant chains in the United States to have them remove frog legs from their menus. The majority of these frog legs come from bullfrogs raised at farms in Asia and South America. Bullfrogs are known carriers of the chytrid fungus, and a recent study showed that up to 62% of the five million bullfrogs that enter New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco each year can carry the fungus. Thus the frog leg trade is one of the most likely contributors to the extinction of frog species worldwide. By reducing the number of bullfrogs entering the United States, we will be protecting native American frog populations, and also frog populations around the world: bullfrogs raised at captive rearing facilities often escape into the wild and become harmful invasive species that spread their infections to native frog populations. We strongly suggest you do no purchase frog legs.
We are working with politicians and government agencies to institute a disease-free certification system for any frogs that are imported into the United States for sale as pets. See our page about the Lacey Act and our efforts to get a legal ban on the importation of non-native frogs into California. We strongly suggest that you do not buy pet frogs that have not been certified disease-free, and never release a pet frog into the wild in any location other than from where it was collected.
There are extremely few scientists in the world knowledgeable in the laboratory techniques necessary to detect the chytrid fungus. SAVE THE FROGS! (in conjunction with the Herpetological Circle of Panama) conducted a course entitled "Instruction and application of quantitative PCR molecular techniques for the study of amphibian epidemics", which took place at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City on October 5th-9th 2009. This course was taught in Spanish by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder & Executive Director Dr. Kerry Kriger, with the valuable assistance of Vicky Flechas of Colombia's Universidad de Los Andes.
The course was attended by 25 scientists from Panama, Colombia, and Costa Rica, three countries whose amphibian population have experienced severe declines in numbers due to the chytrid fungus. This one course effectively doubled the number of scientists with the expertise necessary to detect the chytrid fungus using quantitative PCR techniques. We plan to offer the course again in Bogota, Colombia in late 2010.
We have also made publicly available our complete protocol for the detection of the chytrid fungus using quantitative PCR techniques. This is the most thorough and detailed protocol in existence, and it is available for free on our quantitative PCR webpage.
There are currently so few amphibian disease laboratories on the planet that it is logistically impossible to screen even a small percentage of the millions of amphibians that are transported around the world each year. Though we are working to significantly reduce the volume of trade, there will always be amphibians that require diagnosis. SAVE THE FROGS! is currently raising the necessary funds to build our own disease testing laboratory, which would allow us to perform disease testing services for companies, zoos and scientists. This laboratory will cost approximately $80,000. Please donate to SAVE THE FROGS! to ensure that we can build the laboratory and carry out this important work. Thanks!