Sunday, April 29, 2012

Belated Save The Frogs Day Special!

This year Save the Frogs Day fell on April 28. It is something that has been celebrated by wildlife conservationists from all over the globe with over 180 events being organized in 38 countries (spanning into 5 continents!). Yesterday I celebrated by going into the city, that's right the city, to look for amphibians and hopefully catch glimpse of some toads if it is not too chilly out. Unfortunately, I did not see any herps at all, most likely due to the fact that it was a steady 52 degrees out and completely overcast. A couple of weeks ago I had slightly better luck and at least saw some frogs. Now a city is generally not the place one would expect to look for toads but just inside the city of Philadelphia, around where I live, there are several habitat areas where one can find the American toad (Bufo Americanus), the green frog (Rana clamitans, the Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) and the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) as well as a treasure trove of other reptiles and amphibians and a whole cast of other animal species. One of the largest areas for such habitat is a place called the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, a private wildlife preserve in Roxborough just inside the city itself that is dedicated to exactly what its title suggests. I traveled to the Schuylkill Center to participate in the annual "Toad Walk" that they do every year in mid April. Although we did not manage to see any toads we did see some frogs and other pond life!
There was also some remains of human settlements from the past as well, preserved as historical landmarks.
The ground pictured here is normally at least muddy and when summer comes along it's a decent sized pond. Here it is dry as a bone. The tour guide, a woman named Gin, said that she had never seen anything like it in her years working there. To learn more about the Schuylkill Center just visit them by clicking the link! They have plenty of great programs to educate kids and adults alike about the nature that can be found in PA.

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