The Green Trail

When I think about the rainforests, tall, lush, green trees flash in my mind. In school, we are taught that rainforests are unique, they sequester carbon and support rich biodiversity. Yes, those primates and flying squirrels. To me personally, rainforests are the artsiest landscapes on this planet. By simply walking down a moist evergreen forest, I get all my inspiration to paint and sketch. Would you agree with me if I said that the unique structure of the trees and the colours make the evergreen forest an artist’s paradise? Let me paint a picture for you – the South Indian Jewel Orchid, Anoechtochilus elatus, is a ground-dwelling orchid that caught my eye on the Green Trail. It bears white flowers in the months of November and December. This orchid is characterized by golden veins on bottle green leaves. I saw three such leaves shooting up from the forest floor. 

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Leaves have fascinated artists for centuries. My eyes chanced upon the colours on the forest floor. There was a carpet of red, yellow and brown leaves on the floor. Some were decaying. I picked up a red leaf and it immediately broke down into smaller pieces. The floor was cushioned with all such leaves and pieces. The thick layer of leaves under my feet felt more like a soft mattress. Ever wondered why there are so many shades of browns (in other words- leaves) on the forest floor? Evergreen trees do not simply shed their leaves. There has to be a reason for all the shedding. As I contemplated these deep mysteries of the forest, I turned around to find a primitive tree. Nageia wallichiana or the naked-seeded tree (gymnosperm) was standing right behind me. It was flanked by a bright orange mushroom that I failed to identify. I have known that leaves in the rainforest have pointed tips – otherwise called the dripping tip. These dripping tipped leaves allow rainwater to drip down to the ground much faster. But there are those trees that break this rule. For example, the Calophyllum austroindicum. This tree is a tall tree like every other tree in the forest and has tiny, sclerophyllous leaves. The leaves are thick, not pointed and instead have an elongated heart-shape. Why it doesn’t follow the dripping tip pattern is something that I have not yet understood. Is there anyone who understands the philosophies of the rule-breakers?

The rainforests may be appealing to the eye but danger lurks behind every tree. When I walked the pristine, evergreen forest at Kakachi of Kalakad–Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), I quickly realized that this forest like any other wild patch is not forgiving. The forest is ruled by vipers, elephants and tigers. Despite the dangers, each tree had something magical going on. The long buttresses for example! They were nothing like I had ever seen before. If they were to suddenly come to life, they’d swallow me whole. In short, they were huge and if I wanted to, I could climb on them. A number of lichens grew on the trees and the buttresses. Palaquim elliptium is a dominant tree in the forest. Its wood is unique and is extensively used to make shingles and other building material. Similarly, Cullenia exarillata is another tall, evergreen tree. This tree has characteristic scaling on its bark. It bears dark-brown, spiky fruits that are food to arboreal mammals like civets and bats. If you look carefully, you’d also see squirrels take a bite. The tree is recognized as a keystone species and is majorly pollinated by macaques and bats. Experts have told me that the occurrence of bats in the forests of Kakachi is rare, therefore this tree is pollinated majorly by macaques. The Lion-tailed Macaques use their sharp canines to break open the fruit. The reward is 8 to 9 delicious seeds. The macaques also feed on the flowers of this tree. I was surprised to know that birds do not feed on these flowers. The reason is that these flowers are not typical flowers with free-flowing nectar – something that birds find interesting. Instead, the flowers have a musty odour and a large basal part. The nectar is contained in small pockets called nectaries. Birds cannot get their way into the nectar but macaques and other mammals can.

Appreciating these subtle nuances of the forest have left a deep impression on me. Before I knew it, I’d spent more than 3 hours inside the jungle looking at it from a wide lens of ecology and art. By now it was noon, time to start walking back on the Green Trail. As I prepared myself to leave the forest, I craned my neck to look above at the canopy one last time. I saw the dense canopy part slightly to give me a glimpse of the clouds – I was standing at the edge of the forest.

I might be leaving, but in the enchanting forest, the magic continues…

* * *

PS: This article was first published in the Agasthya Newsletter by ATREE, Bangalore. Don’t forget to check out other interesting pieces from the Newsletter – A Deluge of a Different Kind and Privilege of Being an Ecologist are my favourites.

The Green Trail is named after noted biologist Stephen Green who studied the critically endangered Lion-tailed Macaques.

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#FridayFrogFact – Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens)

fej rufscens 2I encountered the Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens) during my surveys on the edges of Pushpagiri Wildlife Reserve. I was sitting on the edge of a beautiful freshwater stream admiring the lush green vegetation around me. Shoals of Bi-coloured frogs’ tadpoles swam and fed on algae in the stream. It was a beautiful sight! Suddenly, a tiny frog that came hopping from behind me caught my eye. It took one last jump and found a comfortable place at the base of a river weed in the shallow waters of the stream. I tilted my head forwards to make eye contact with my new frog friend. Its eyes resembled that of a fish and its overall appearance was that of a toad. I sat quietly without any movement for the next fifteen minutes taking down important notes on its habitat and the surrounding temperature and humidity. While I continued to look at it, it sat there patiently without any movement as though it were imitating me! After about twenty minutes of being frozen, I was reminded that I am in an active elephant territory and must return to my base before it gets dark. I decided to take a couple of pictures and started trekking back thinking about this bizarre frog that I had just encountered. fej rufescens

After getting home, I scanned through all the available scientific literature that I could get my hands on. Forty-eight hours later, I had made my list of interesting facts about this lesser known creature –

  • Fejervaryan frogs belong to the family called Dicroglossidae. Dicroglossid frogs are sometimes called as ‘true frogs’ given its appearance and range of distribution. They are all mostly small, brown coloured, ground dwelling creatures. They live under leaf litter on the forest floors, in paddy fields or on the edges of freshwater streams.
  • Here’s a list of all Fejervaryan frogs in India in the table below. The Western Ghats alone are home to sixteen species of these ground-dwelling frogs. The ones marked with an asterisk (*) are from the Western Ghats.
Scientific Name Common Name Distribution IUCN Status
Fejervarya andamanensis Andaman Wart Frog South Andaman Island, India. (Andaman Islands) Least Concern
Fejervarya brevipalmata* Pegu Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya cancrivora Crab-eating Frog Coastal southern China in Guangxi and Hainan Provinces, Great Nicobar Island in India, most countries in Southeast Asia. Introduced In New Guinea. Least Concern
Fejervarya caperata* Wrinkled Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Widespread) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya chilapata Jaldapara District in West Bengal State, India. (Chilapata Reserve Forest) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya gomantaki* Goan Fejervarya Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India particularly Goa in The Northern Western Ghats Not Evaluated
Fejervarya granosa*  Granular Fejervarya Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya greenii Montane Frog Central hills of Sri Lanka and Karnataka, India. Endangered
Fejervarya keralensis* Kerela Warty Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (known from the states of Karnataka, Kerela and Tamil Nadu) Least Concern
Fejervarya kudremukhensis* Kudremukh Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (known from Karnataka) Not Evaluated
Fejervarya modestus* Moluccas Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya mudduraja* Mudduraja Cricket Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya murthii* Murthy’s Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Critically Endangered
Fejervarya mysorensis* Mysore Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya nilagirica* Nilgiris Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India. (Wayanad in Kerala and the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu) Endangered
Fejervarya nepalensis Nepal Wart Frog Nagaland (where it is widely distributed) and West Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Also present in Nepal and southern and southeastern Bangladesh. Least Concern
Fejervarya nicobariensis Nicobar Frog Nicobar Islands, India Endangered
Fejervarya orissaensis Orissa Frog Orissa, India. Least Concern
Fejervarya parambikulamana* Parambikulum Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Palakkad, Kerala) Data Deficient
Fejervarya pierrei Pierre’s Cricket Frog Nepal, and southern and southeastern Bangladesh Least Concern
Fejervarya rufescens* Malabar Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India (Whole of Malabar Coast) Least Concern
Fejervarya sahyadris* Minevarya Frog Endemic to Western Ghats. Restricted to Gundia in Karnataka, and Calicut and adjoining areas in Kerala, India Endangered
Fejervarya sauriceps* Mysore Wart Frog Endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range in India Data Deficient
Fejervarya sengupti Northeastern, India Not Evaluated
Fejervarya teraiensis Terai Wart Frog Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, India. Also known from southern Nepal and Bangladesh Least Concern
Fejervarya syhadrensis* Southern Cricket Frog Central northern India and western peninsular India, southern Nepal, eastern Pakistan (from lower Punjab, Sindh) and Bangladesh. Least Concern
  • How to identify Fejervaryan frogs? Look for the following characteristics:
    – Small size (3 – 5 centimeters)
    – Colour that is usually drab brownish and dull overall
    – Habitat: Usually found on the forest floors, on leaf litters and paddy fields.
    – They are active all year round.
    – All these frogs will have ‘Fejervaryan Lines’ (Two delicate longitudinal lines on the underside of the sides of the abdomen. The line begins at the groin.)
    – The tympanum (disk-like structure behind the eye) is small.
    – Toes do not have any pads or dilated discs.
  • The Malabar Wart Frog (Fejervarya rufescens) was first described in 1853 by Jerdon. Since then it has gone through major taxonomic changes, from being called Zakerana to being called Fejervarya in 2015.
  • This frog is a robust, reddish brown of about 4.5 centimetres. The snout is blunt and the dorsum of the frog has irregular warty skin folds that give it a toad-like appearance.
  • In the non-breeding season, it is overall brownish with irregular black markings. Whereas in the breeding season the frog dons a sun-kissed reddish hue overall.
  • It also has an inner and outer digging apparatus (a shovel like structure that enables them to dig in the ground) on its hind limbs.

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – Indirana Gundia (Gundia Leaping Frog)

The Indiarana frogs have been going through major taxonomic changes in the recent years. The word Indirana probably derived by combining two words – India (Indi) and frogs (rana). This tells us that these frogs are known only from India, particularly the Western Ghats! They are commonly referred to as ‘Leaping Frogs’ given their behaviour and ability to jump long and fast on leaf litter. This genus includes the following species: Capture_indirana

I was lucky to see the Gundia Leaping Frog while I was working in Gundia district on a wet monsoon day. While strolling through the study site my mentor heard a call which everyone else failed to notice. After hours of inspection, we finally found a tiny, brownish creature calling for its mate from under moss laden rocks. I was amazed when I witnessed the spectacular camouflage of this frog!

gundia

I personally find them a very difficult group of frogs and that’s probably because I haven’t observed them enough. For me, these frogs are analogous to warblers in the bird world. The key to identification of these cryptic species would be (I guess) to first place them in their respective groups (more about this next week). Then check the location of the frog and cancel out species one by one according to their external characteristics.

The following points will be useful to understand the morphological characteristics of Gundia Leaping Frog and will also help separate this frog from others in its family:

  • Size – Approximately 2-3 centimetres.
  • The eyes are bi-colored. The upper half is golden yellow while the lower half is silverish
  • Horizontally placed oval pupils separate the two colours of the eyes
  • A pair of large and distinctive tympanums, Maroon in colour
  • Extensive webbing in the feet
  • Snout that looks elongated and protrudes beyond its mouth
  • Back/Dorsum – Shows longitudinal skin-folds that make irregular rows
  • The sides aka flanks are granular in appearance
  • Presence of femoral gland on the posterior thigh
  • Coloration – Mostly brownish and yellowish overall. The frog can sometimes appear little reddish and also have a central white longitudinal line on the dorsum

The Gundia Leaping Frog was discovered in 1986. Since then very little is known about the ecology and life history of this frog. It belongs to a family of frogs that is said to be evolving independently in India for more than 50 million years. It is recognised as an Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. EDGE species are remarkably unique not only in their appearance, the way they behave or live but also in their evolutionary history. The Gundia Leaping Frog is just one step away from going ‘Extinct In The Wild’ according to IUCN. If we lose these frogs, there will none of their kind left on the planet!

Read more here –
http://www.edgeofexistence.org/amphibians/species_info.php?id=632
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0166326
http://threatenedtaxa.org/index.php/JoTT/article/view/2532/3766
http://www.sekj.org/PDF/anz49-free/anz49-257i.pdf

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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Wait?

IMG_20160320_104054832

Will you wait? Asked my heart. Waiting is great indeed
Wait for another dog to walk in your home.
When things fall into place on their own,
Till then, let me wait and moan.

Wait for that perfect opportunity
Wait for that perfect day.
When things fall into place just like you’d expected,
Till then, let me wait and pray!

Wait? What are you doing, said my brain
With the only life, you’ve got to make.
Things will never fall into place on their own,
You gotta get up and start to take that ache.

Life is difficult and unlucky, my girl
Success comes to those who never wait.
I know you will get there, but not just by pray,
Get up and find that opportunity to make your life great!

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Set Yourself Free…

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When you truly sing, you sing yourself free.
When you truly dance, you dance yourself free.
And when you travel to places and discover a river, you swim to set yourself free!

PS: Read these lines somewhere in a book and modified them a little

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#FridayFrogFact – Laterite Narrow-mouthed Frog (Microhyla laterite): Frog of Manipal?

Manipal is situated on a stunning laterite plateau with the Western Ghats to one side and the Arabian Sea to the other. Monsoons give rise to ephemeral pools that act as breeding sites for frogs. A number of frogs, birds and other creatures rejoice and make these pools their home.

giphy_microhyla
One remarkable discovery was that of a Narrow-mouthed Frog from the pools formed on the laterite plateau of Manipal. Here are my notes that will help you understand and learn everything about this newly discovered species:

  1. There are 8 species of Narrow-mouthed Frogs (genus Microhyla) in India
    microhyla final
  2. Out of these, the 3 marked in yellow have been reported from South India
  3. Laterite Narrow-mouthed Frog (Microhyla laterite) abbreviated here as LNF is the 9th one on the list. This frog was described in March 2016 by a team of scientistsScreen Shot 2017-01-25 at 7.08.04 PM
  4. The size of a male LNF is about 1.5 centimetres and that of a female is about 1.8 centimetres
  5. This new species shares habitat with Ornate Narrow-mouthed frog, Cricket frogs, Bull Frogs, Common Skittering Frogs and Tree frogs
  6. The calls of LNF are similar to that of a ground cricket – ‘Zeeee…Zeeee….Zeeee’
  7. Tadpoles of this tiny frog are small blackish creatures usually found at the base of the pools formed in monsoons. Mudigere Skittering Frog has been reported to feed on these miniature creatures
  8. To separate LNF from other confusing tiny frogs, look for the following characteristics:

    • Small sized adults with circular pupils (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Smooth back that has irregular pattern (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Tympanum, disc-like structures behind a frog’s eye are hidden (common to all Narrow-mouthed Frogs)
    • Size is approximately less than or equal to one-third of the length of your index finger (1.5 centimetres)
    • A short, dark horizontal line on the back in-line with its tiny forearms
    • Dark, blackish purple granulated pattern on the vocal sacs
    • Calls can be heard in monsoons around rainwater pools from 1800 to 2130 hours
  9. LNF can be confused with its sister species – Sholiga Narrow-mouthed Frog. More on this in the coming weeks on how you can differentiate between the same.

Have a look at these pictures by Vrinda Lath who is a core member of team FoM: 

IMAG0880_1-1

microhyla

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – New Frog Species From India: Karaavali Skittering Frog (Euphlyctis karaavali)

Source : Giphy.com

A team of scientists have recently unearthed a large aquatic frog from the Western Ghats of India. This frog calls like a bird and probably this is the reason why it has been ignored all these years. In the year 2015, an incredibly large frog that resembled other frogs from the region (but was not one of them) was reported by a local forester who was conducting his regular surveys on the coasts of Karnataka. The sound he heard was one no one had noticed before! He had heard, what he thought was a White-throated Kingfisher, call from the puddles below his feet. But that’s not possible! The puddles were instead home to a new frog, awaiting recognition. A passionate team of scientists then exposed this frog to the world in their paper published in the scientific journal of Asian Herpetological Research in September 2016.

Source : Giphy.com

 

The frog looks very similar to other aquatic frogs. It is known to share its habitat with commonly occurring frogs like the Indian Bull Frog, Common Indian Toad, Common Skittering Frog, Six-toad Frog, Aloysius Skittering Frog and many others.

Here are my notes that will help you learn about and understand this new species: 

  1. There are 7 species of skittering frogs (genus Euphlyctis) in the world
  2. Out of these, the 5 marked yellow are reported from India
  3. The new frog species called Karaavali Skittering frog (Euphlyctis karaavali) abbreviated here as KSF is the 8th species on the list.
    karaavali
  4. Among the skittering frogs, this new species is known to share habitat with Aloysi Skittering, Common Skittering, Mudigere Skittering and Six-toed Skittering frogs. Differentiating between these can be highly confusing when they are seen together
    giphy_confusing frog
  5. The size of a male KSF is about 70.9 millimetres while that of a female is about 106 millimetres. For better understanding, I have compiled approximate size chart in centimetres
    Size frog full
  6. Although to separate Karaavali from the above species, look at the following characteristics:

    • Full webbed toes (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Eye on top on the head (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Large tympanum (common to all skittering frogs)
    • Size; your four fingers together will make a Karaavali (Consider each finger’s width 2 cms)
    • Prominent supratympanic fold (skin wrinkle) extending from the ear to the shoulder
    • Shagreen colour on the back
    • Presence of granular tubercles on the back of the frog
    • Granular short spine-like tubercles from the eye all the way to the groin
    • Dark, blackish purple pair of vocal sacs
    • A dark green stripe on the flanks, extending from the supratympanic fold (starts right behind the tympanum/ear) and ends at the groin

Have a look at the video by CR Naik and Dr Gururaja KV here – 

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post. 

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#FridayFrogFact – What do frogs eat?

Last week I spent a couple of hours answering Quora questions on frogs and amphibians. While I answered questions like ‘Which is the biggest amphibian?’ or ‘Which are the most poisonous frogs?’, one question caught my attention a number of times – ‘What do frogs eat?’ 

Source: giphy.com

A lot of curious people on Quora are trying to answer the question as to what exactly do these small frogs (that often serve as food for others) eat. In my past workshops and talks, a number of people have asked me similar questions. So in this week’s Friday post, I will tell you’ll what are the various goodies they eat in the following points. But for the impatient among you all, a short answer to this FAQ could be – ‘Frogs eat pests- all kinds of pests’

Source: giphy.com
Source: giphy.com

A frog’s diet is mighty interesting. This article will be hugely helpful to understand what exactly is on a frog’s menu – 

  • Almost all frogs are largely carnivorous (i.e mainly insectivorous). They eat a variety of invertebrates and other small vertebrates.  
  • Although an exception to the above is a largely herbivorous frog known from India called the Indian Green Frog (Euphlyctus hexadactylus). 80% of this frog’s diet contains plant matter.
  • Burrowing frogs mainly feed on ants and termites. These globular bodied frogs burrow deep into the ground without any movement and with reduced physiological function- just as their names suggests! In order to maintain this kind of a lifestyle, they need a fat rich diet and ants and termites are a rich source of fat.
  • Some large frogs also feed on fish. An African frog (Aubria subsigillata) who leaps over water specializes on eating fish.
  • In the highlands of Kenya lives a special frog that feeds mainly on terrestrial snails and slugs. A book that I often read says that the frogs haven’t actually been observed eating snails but they possess extensive modifications of their skull bones and teeth that allow them to pull these sticky creatures from the rocks.
  • A frog that lives in the salty mudflats and can tolerate marine environments in the Southeast Asia eats crabs, Crab-eating frog (Fejervarya cancrivora).
  • Tadpoles on the other hand feed mainly on a vegetarian diet. They depend on algae that grow on the rocks and within the water streams.
  • The frog’s head and body size are directly proportional to the prey size. In other words, frogs that are large and have bigger heads will eat a variety of prey from tiny ants to large invertebrates and vice versa.  

Watch the following video to see a bull frog eat almost anything in front of it –

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.

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#FridayFrogFact – Reflecting Back on 2016 with Frogs in Focus

Heartfelt thanks to each and every participant of “Frogs of Manipal’ club. We are now a brilliant gang of 133 frog lovin’ members! This informal club was created in October 2016 and team Frogs of Manipal (FoM) has made some awesome discoveries since then. So on this first Friday of 2017, let’s recap everything that we have achieved together in the last three months as team FoM –

  1. We surveyed various sectors of Manipal twice every week, taking the total count of our surveys to more than 20 in three months

    From giphy.com
    From giphy.com
  2. We documented about 5 road kills from across Manipal in the dry season

    Picture by Rahul SN
    Picture by Rahul SN
  3. We encountered and recorded an eyeless ‘Endangered’ frog – Uperedon mormorata

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  4. We spent 21st Nov’16 cracking delightful frog jokes to have a good laugh together frogjokes
  5. We’ve participated in 3 polls – one each month; and we will continue with monthly polls to gauge the community’s opinions poll_
  6. We shared pictures of ‘Data Deficient’ frogs like the Western Tree Frog sitting on the walls of our hostels

    Picture by Rithika Kalidos
    Picture by Rithika Kalidos
  7. We encountered Nematode infection in an aquatic frog in October 2016

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  8. We saw an amazing video of a Bull Frog escaping death right in our university’s backyard by Girish Rajannavar

     

  9. We launched #FridayFrogFact where we read, write and share frog blogs every week. We promise to continue doing this! pixabay.com
  10. We also took #FridayFrogFact to an international platform with a post being published in The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR)

    giphy.com
    giphy.com
  11. Our team members from places away from Manipal showed their virtual support by sharing interesting scientific studies

    impinfofrog
    By Rishabh Birla
  12. With our outreach activities, we spoke about #NotJustFrogs to a total of 256 students- in Manipal and surrounding towns. The change in these kids’ perception of frogs – from ‘icky’ to ‘wow’ was heartwarming to say the least!

    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
    Picture by Madhushri Mudke
  13. We laughed and came up with intelligent strategies to come out of the ditch into which one of our team mate’s car went straight down on 26th Oct’16 as we wrapped up our regular frog walk

    From giphy.com
    From giphy.com
  14. That same day, we also saw a beautiful Scops Owl along with frogs

    Picture by Ashutosh Taparia
    Picture by Ashutosh Taparia
  15. We have successfully maintained high ethical standards within our team – thanks to our moderators and each one of us!

In the future, we will achieve a lot more together. We promise to continue our surveys throughout the year. We will also be conducting fun activities like ‘Frog Movie Nights’. We will continue writing frog blogs. I think, we should take a step into making some fun videos in 2017 to endorse FoM.

I am waiting for your ideas, suggestions and opinions that you think will help us improve in the coming year. Our objective as always, remains:

  1. To spread awareness about the frogs of Manipal
  2. To document abnormalities in frogs
  3. To document road kills across the town
  4. Come up with interesting strategies for conservation
  5. To promote living in harmony with frogs
  6. To change attitudes towards frogs as a whole
  7. To bring more people into this loving community – once they come to love frogs as much as we do!

Let’s welcome the New Year with gratitude and love towards all species on our planet!

Thank you from Team FoM <3

 

If you have missed any of the previous #FridayFrogFact posts – read them all over here! And if you liked this article, join our growing community of amazing froggers on Facebook. Also please fill out this form and tell me what would you like to read in the next post.
Now go and croak it out (read share this article) to the entire world on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sharing the #FridayFrogFact with your friends on social media is a great idea to show your love for these species <3

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#FridayFrogFact – 5 Awesome Frog Documentaries You Need To Watch This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! Without any argument, it is the best season to find a comfortable couch, a warm blanket and some chocolate brownies. Watching Game of Thrones or Netflix is indeed a great idea while snuggling up, but I’d rather watch frog documentaries. Why? Because these have taken me on an awesome trip into the world beyond mine. The movies I have listed here are inspiring, intriguing and hair-raising all at the same time. I think, it is a brilliant idea to make use of the holiday season to learn something exciting while not compromising on the entertainment.  

Following are five of my favourite freely available films on frogs. Take my list and just watch the documentaries below, and soak up in the world that you have never imagined –

  1. Fabulous Frogs –

What’s it about? This is by far, my favourite frog documentary. Not only is it in Sir David Attenborough’s voice but it also tells you about every basic fact that you must know about these incredible lil’ creatures. The movie is a journey into a weird and cryptic world of frogs. It talks about their life histories, their extraordinary anatomies and their unbelievable breeding behaviours. The film shows colourful frogs from the rainforests that live high up in the canopy and glide down to the ground. It also features frozen frogs showcasing their extraordinary hibernation skills. Here’s a preview –

  1.    Frogs – The Thin Green Line

What’s it about? The deadly chytrid fungus that is spreading all over the world. Allison Argo, who is known for lending her voice to animals that cannot speak for themselves, has narrated and directed this movie. In her strong yet soothing voice, she stresses on the major concerns in the amphibian world. This video will take you on a roller-coaster ride and will get you thinking from the depths of your grey matter!

  1. Knights of the Monsoon – Frogs of Sharavathi Valley

What’s it about? The Frogs of Sharavathi Valley and the Western Ghats of India created by my dear friends Saurabh and Ramit. The documentary shows life in monsoons in the deep forests of India. It focuses on some endangered and endemic species of frogs. The creators broadcast a colourful and psychedelic journey into the lives of lesser known frog species while stressing on their importance in the ecosystem.

  1.  Deadly Poison Dart Frog?  

What’s it about? Coyote Peterson’s adventures have always fascinated me. This is one of my favourite episodes wherein he handles a poison dart frog. (Some poison frogs have skin toxins potentially dangerous to humans, and I do not encourage anyone to do stunts that Coyote does.) In this video, he handles the Granulated Poison Frog.

  1.  The Survival of the Earth Depends on Frogs: Jean-Marc Hero at TEDx at St Hilda’s School

What’s it about? Professor Jean-Marc Hero talks about the connections between human beings, frogs and the planet Earth. TED talks have always inspired me. And this talk is about something I truly believe in. Professor Jean-Marc’s presentation is inspiring and thought-provoking not only to students and professionals studying frogs but also to people from various other backgrounds. If any of the documentaries above have gotten you a tad bit interested in frogs, you must add this TED talk to your playlist and take a leap further in the world of frogs!

Happy Holiday and a very Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed that article. Stay tuned for more such amazing frog facts – we post every Friday!

This post was first published on Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) read it here.

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