Frogs Remind Guests to Turn Clocks Ahead this Weekend
Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will get a “leap” on the upcoming daylight saving time change with a variety of frog-focused activities reminding them to set the clocks ahead one hour on Sun., March 12.
Frogs, toads and salamanders will take center stage on Wed., March 9 as part of Disney’s effort to raise awareness of the serious decline in amphibian populations. According to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species may be threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease.
Amphibians play an essential role in the ecosystems of the world and are keenly attuned to changes in the environment and are considered an “indicator” species, meaning they can provide an early warning for endangered ecosystems. In addition, frogs provide valuable scientific and medical benefits to humans. The skin of amphibians contains substances that can protect them from some microbes and viruses, which can offer possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS.
“Frogs also provide a free pest-control service,” according to Kathy Lehnhardt, curator of education for Disney’s Animal Programs. “Frogs eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae. So we want to do all we can to protect them.”
This year, children and families visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom will make toad abodes for their backyards, listen to frog calls, spring like a frog, examine amphibians up close and meet their keepers. They’ll also learn about conservation actions that they can do to help amphibians survive for the future. Some of the suggestions include:
- Build a pond with native shrubs.
- Provide an overturned pot, small areas of leaf litter, logs, and dirt piles to benefit amphibians.
- Get an amphibian field guide to learn where certain amphibians live.
- Find books on frogs and discover why they sing loudly, hear well and stay up late.
- Visit a local pond or nature park and listen for the calls of different frog species.
- Use fewer chemical pesticides to keep amphibians healthy.
- Observe the variety and behaviors of frogs by just looking; allow them to continue their important work.
- Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home.
- Remember that the chemicals from soaps and lotions can hurt their delicate skin if they’re touched.
- Wildlife Wednesday: Making Toad Abodes and Other Ways to ‘Spring Forward’ to Help Amphibians (chipandco.com)