Like most of us I have lots to worry about in my own little corner of the world, but every now and then I’m reminded of the bigger picture.
The other nite we watched The Thin Green Line on the PBS series Nature and got some more bad news. It seems frog populations all around the world are dying out as humans encroach on their natural habitats, and continue to pollute the environment and contribute to the global warming that’s throwing the earth’s ecosystems out of whack.
Frogs are at the center of the food chain and their disappearance would have a devastating affect on others species as well. Frogs are also vitally important to current medical research as chemical compounds in their skin have been found to help treat pain, block infection, and possibly may be used in HIV treatment.
On the show we met an international group of amazingly dedicated animal scientists working to save these frogs from extinction, it’s as serious as that. And adding to the disaster is a newly identified amphibian fungus deadly to frogs. As this infection spreads, the scientists work against the clock to eradicate it, even hoping to breed a new generation of frogs who are resistant to it.
On this blog I’ve written about the childhood summers I spent at my grandmother’s Catskill hotel and the lake at the bottom of the hill. As a kid I caught dozens of frogs in that lake and thought it great fun to sing to them, “Froggies croaking in the pool, You don’t have to go to school.”
I hope the generations of kids to come will still have those lucky froggies to serenade.
Dana Susan Lehrman