The theme permeating all presentations at this year’s ‘Save the Frogs Day’ at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is the need for the protection of endangered amphibian species, some of which are only found in Ghana.
The programme took place on April 28, 2012 and was celebrated simultaneously by 36 countries worldwide.
Organised by Save the Frogs International, a non-governmental organisation, the Vice President, Jonathan Toursan, enunciated that the organisation was founded to solve the global environmental problem of amphibian extinction. He says amphibians are important bio-indicators which need to be protected and cautioned against the use of Atrasine which destroys the existence of frogs.
In a speech about endangered frog species in Ghana, Co-founder and Executive Director of Save the Frogs Ghana, Mr. Gilbert Adum, emphasised the need to protect amphibians especially frogs. He added that, “globally 2000 amphibian species are threatened with extinction and it has been estimated that 32% of Ghana’s amphibians may not survive this century”.
The Ecologist noted that 5 endemic species of frogs are recorded to exist only in Ghana and cautioned against the destruction of the Atiwa Forest which has the Togo Slippery Frog , the closest relative to the largest frog in the world. Save the Frogs Ghana is therefore appealing to government to convert the Atiwa Forest into a national park.
“It is called the Togo Slippery Frog and the largest population in the whole world is found at the Atiwa Hills. Now, they are trying to mine the place for bauxite which will lead to the loss of these frogs. We have collected signatures of over 200 people and will have presentations at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Forestry Commission. We want them to understand that, it is important to create Atiwa Forest into a national park,” the Frog expert added.
The Chairman for the Board of Directors, Save the Frogs Ghana, Prof. William Oduro also stated that KNUST has started the movement to protect frogs and their habitat. He says the long term goal is to affect positive change in policies that will be beneficial to the environment and humans. He was however quick to add that the main challenge of the organisation has been with the mindset of some Ghanaians in accepting the importance of frogs and conserving their habitat.
In some parts of the Northern Region, frogs are harvested for food and serves as a source of income to the hunters. As parts of efforts to discourage over harvesting of these frogs, Save the Frogs Ghana is embarking on a bee – keeping training programme to provide alternative livelihood for these people.
The Bee – keeping Trainer for the organisation, Ms Jacqueline Kumadoh, disclosed that the programme has already started in the Northern Region and in Atiwa and will soon be expanded to other areas.
By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi