An update from SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey:
Ghana’s frogs are under serious threat from habitat destruction, pollution and pesticides, and from over-harvesting for the frog meat and frog bait trades. With so many factors contributing to the decline in amphibian populations, on April 11th I traveled to Ghana in order to meet with politicians, tribal leaders, and academics in order to further SAVE THE FROGS! GHANA message of amphibian conservation. While I am here I will give presentations, grow Ghana’s network of students, academics and biologists interested in amphibian conservation efforts and work towards the creation of the Atewa Hills National Park, home of the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog. I will teach a field course to undergraduates, advise the students of our three university chapters in Ghana, and assist with Save The Frogs Day events.
On the 14th of April I reached Kumasi and became settled. I am staying at a guest house at the far end of the campus on Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST). The house borders a forest and I am privileged to see many beautiful birds, butterflies and lizards on my doorstep. I even heard a chorus of frogs last night!
If you’ve ever seen one of my presentations, you know that I like to put stickers on my laptop. The large green frog is a sticker about an anti-vivisection campaign and it is pretty cute, so I slapped it on the laptop. It is a good thing I did as it attracted this future frog saver! He approached me about the sticker and I showed him lots of photos of frogs. He became quite excited to see photos of frogs calling!
Future Wildlife Warrior!
Today I met with the Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, Gilbert Adum, and with leaders of the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana student chapter at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST) to discuss amphibian conservation efforts in Ghana. It was an incredibly productive meeting with this dedicate group of students. They have many events planned for SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana!
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum and SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey
Mr. Adum and I met with Professor William Oduro, one of Ghana’s first amphibian biologists and Chairman of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. Meeting Mr. Oduro was quite an honor as he has greatly improved conservation efforts in Ghana.
Tomorrow I travel north to Navrongo in order to educate local communities about the threats of climate change, destructive pesticide use, and the over-harvesting of frogs for food. I will be meeting with tribal leaders, educating school children, investigating amphibian meat markets, and celebrating Navrongo’s Save The Frogs’ Day event! It will be great!
I will be in the area for 5 days and then I return to Kumasi… expect an exciting update!
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Thank you for reading and for your support! Save Frogs, Save People!
Michael G. Starkey
SAVE THE FROGS! – Advisory Committee Chair, Ecologist