SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is in the process of securing funding for the protection of 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) of critical frog habitat in the Sui Forest area of western Ghana. The Sui Forest and the approximately 30 amphibian species that call Sui home are subject to four major threats: logging, alien species invasion, farming and wildfires.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Co-Founder Gilbert Adum surveying a pond on a logging road in the Sui Forest during the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Expedition. Gilbert is the first amphibian biologist to survey the Sui region; he began his efforts there in 2008.
The unsustainable logging practices of timber companies, coupled with widespread illegal logging activities by local people have degraded and fragmented the forest. There are also several pockets of illegal and legal farms within critical habitat areas. Both the farming and logging have facilitated the invasion of Chromolaena odorata, a non-native plant species that is a major threat to biodiversity throughout the tropics. The invasive alien plant C. odorata forms dense thickets that impede the frogs’ dispersal; it also releases chemicals into the soil that prevent the growth of native plants. Additionally, C. odorata depletes the density of leaf-litter that leaf-litter frogs utilize for predator escape, breeding activities and protection from desiccation. The occurrence of C. odorata also makes the forest more susceptible to wildfires. Combined with the burning of trees by honey collectors to smoke out bees, forest fires in the Sui area have become increasingly common; for instance in 2016, wildfires destroyed large parts of Sui Forest and Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve, the original home of the Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). The fires destroyed at least 5,000 native trees that we had previously planted to restore critical frog habitat.
Members of the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Expedition surveying a stream in the Sui Forest that is home to amphibians that were unknown to science until SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana biologists discovered them in mid-2016. The stream is under severe threat from nearby logging and the erosion it causes.
To ensure the long-term survival of the regions amphibian species, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana has initiated efforts to:
(1) Improve our knowledge of the distribution of amphibian species in the Sui Forest; SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana is the only organization that has conducted research in the Sui Forest area, and we are still finding new amphibian populations.
(2) Survey landowners and community leaders to determine current land ownership, historical land prices and leasing opportunities. Land in the area is not available for sale, but is available for long-term lease.
(3) Research and apply for funding from non-profit organizations and foundations that fund land acquisition.
I personally do appreciate your great works for mankind and the natural environment and I believe together we can build a better future for mankind, and a formidable protected habitat for frogs and other amphibians worldwide.
– N. Aidoo, Ghana
Look at that beautiful webbing!
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s efforts in the Sui region are primarily aimed at the following amphibian species, which are under a significant degree of threat due to their small population sizes and the above-mentioned threats to their habitat:
- Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua). This is one of the world’s rarest frogs, with extant population estimated to be 30 total individuals. All known surviving populations are restricted to the proposed Sanctuary.
- Ringed River Frog (Phrynobatrachus annulatus, Endangered)
- Yapo River Frog (P. villiersi, Vulnerable)
- Ivory Coast Frog (Amnirana occidentalis, Endangered)
- A recently discovered Slippery Frog (Conraua) species whose population estimate is 20 total individuals, with all known individuals restricted to a 1km section of a single stream threatened by logging, farming and potential mining.
- A recently discovered Phrynobatrachus species known from only a single record.
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana funding comes almost exclusively from international sources, including frog enthusiasts like YOU who support our efforts. To donate to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, simply place a donation at www.savethefrogs.com/donate and then email firstname.lastname@example.org asking us to direct your donations to our efforts in Ghana. Thank you for your support!
A lesson in aerodynamics and a beneficiary of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana’s efforts to protect the incredible amphibian fauna of Ghana’s Sui Forest.