Frogs thriving near organic sugarcane plantations
populations seem to
near some of our organic
sugarcane plantations, we've
been pleased to note.
Frogs are very
pollution, so their presence shows that the environment is clean.
like to think that CADO's organic farming has helped to keep it that
Paul Bamford visited us in late 2007 to photograph our projects
and the local wildlife. He left us with
around a thousand fantastic photos - and the challenge of
identifying some of the animals, birds and insects. In April
2008, Paul contacted
us to say that he thought the frog pictured here might be a
relatively rare colour-morph of the phantasmal poison arrow frog (or
phantasmal poison dart frog), Epipedobates
tricolor, unique to
a very few locations in Ecuador and listed as endangered by the IUCN.
such as frogs are massively
important as indicators of habitat quality, as they are one of the
first groups of vertebrates to be affected by pollution and other
changes in the environment", Paul tells us. "Therefore,
endangered frogs =
ecosytem. They are important for keeping ecosystems healthy
their own right, because they prey on invertebrates. Studies
the world have shown
that crop pests increase when amphibian populations decline".
expert Mario Yanez at the Natural History Museum of Ecuador believes
frogs are actually a particularly beautiful colour-morph
of Epipedobates anthonyi.
The E. anthonyi
were previously considered to be the same species as E. tricolor and
only molecular analysis or distribution show a difference between them.
E. anthonyi does not
seem to have a common name, just being
known as a type of poison dart or poison arrow frog. The
species is listed as "near threatened" rather than
endangered, with its main threat being agrochemical pollution.
We will continue to keep an eye on them and press on with our
organic agriculture efforts to conserve the habitat for them and other
all over the world
are under threat from the chytrid fungus (see Amphibian
Ark's chytrid fungus page) so it
is more important now than
ever to keep the habitat of these frogs unpolluted. You
might like to support the Year
of the Frog campaign.
alcohol project, is moving
to selling organic alcohol on a fairly-traded basis on the
international market. It's a long process but we are
forward. Success will mean that more existing and new members
can convert more land to organic status for the benefit of local
families, frogs and other wildlife.
October 2008: a recent visit to the river found a few small frogs and
large numbers of tadpoles, another good sign of the health of the frog
population and the wider ecosystem.
CRACYP news: amphibians thriving
near CADO's organic sugarcane
plantations in Ecuador - frogs good indicator of healthy habitat.
news of sustainable
development and reforestation in rural communities
'Green Progress': social and economic development which
protects the environment