SINGAPORE ZOO PLEDGES TO KEEP FROGS LEAPING AHEAD OF EXTINCTION

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INTRODUCTION OF FROG KIT AIMED AT CELEBRATING AND RAISING AWARENESS OF FROGS AMONG LOCALS

Singapore, 28 February 2012 — This Leap Year, Singapore Zoo is jumping into action with the introduction of a Frog Kit, aimed at creating awareness and generating interest in local biodiversity, with a focus on our native amphibian friends such as the four-lined tree frog and common greenback species.

During the trial phase, the Frog Kit was distributed to several international and local schools and has received positive feedback from children as young as six. Students from the Canadian International School had a perfect score and successfully released 10 four-lined tree froglets into the pond at Singapore Zoo’s Tropical Crops plantation last March, after looking after them for about five weeks.

The Frog Kit allows its caretakers a first-hand experience of the frog’s intriguing metamorphosis – from egg to tadpole to froglet to adult frog. By being a part of its life cycle, both adults and children will hopefully develop a greater appreciation for these creatures and the wonders of nature.

They may not be the best animals to cuddle up with, but frogs do have a part to play in helping man, as pest control through their diet of insects, such as mosquitoes. Frogs can also tell us if an environment is healthy. Their permeable skin easily absorbs toxic chemicals, which means they are sensitive to very slight changes in the environment. Therefore, if anything drastic happens to frog populations around us, it is an indication that something is wrong in our biosphere as a whole.

The Frog Kit also ties in with the Primary School Science syllabus topic of animal life cycles, and Singapore Zoo hopes more local schools will embrace the kit in the coming months.

This initiative is part of a worldwide event called Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012, coordinated by Amphibian Ark (AArk) to coincide with Leap Day on 29 February. The AArk is a joint effort of three principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSC* Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).

To date, 51 institutions from 17 countries have confirmed their participation in this global event, which focuses on promoting successes in the conservation of amphibians in captivity and in the wild, especially highlighting projects that involve the release of frogs into the wild.

Last weekend, Singapore Zoo’s “Leap Here!” event which featured frog-related interactive games attracted close to 750 children between 7-12 years. If you’re visiting the Singapore Zoo on Leap Day this year, look out for additional frog information at Fragile Forest.

For more information on other Leap Year events around the world, visit www.amphibianark.org/leap-day-2012/.)

*IUCN/SSC: International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission

Students from the Canadian International School wished their froglets well as they were released into the pond at Singapore Zoo’s Tropical Crops Plantation last year

Young guests guessing the number of ‘frog eggs’ in the clduring last weekend’s Leap Here! event at Singapore Zoo

LEAP HERE! FOR FROGTASTIC FUN

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SINGAPORE ZOO CELEBRATES LEAP YEAR WITH FROG ACTIVITIES

Learn more about native frogs such as the banded bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra) (left) and spotted tree frog (Nyctixalus pictus) (right) at Singapore Zoo’s Leap Here! event this 25-26 Feb 2012. PHOTO CREDITS: LEONG TZI MING

Singapore, 20 February 2012– Celebrate the leap year with our amphibious friends who love leaping too! During the 25-26 February weekend, Singapore Zoo will be bringing you a fun-filled weekend where you can learn about and interact with these creatures.

They may not be the best animals to cuddle up with, but frogs do have a part to play in helping man, as pest control through their diet of insects, such as mosquitoes. Frogs can also tell us if an environment is healthy. Their permeable skin easily absorbs toxic chemicals, which means they are sensitive to very slight changes in the environment. Therefore, if anything drastic happens to frog populations around us, it is an indication that something is wrong in our biosphere as a whole.

Find out more about these fascinating creatures and participate in the myriad of activities we have lined up for the whole family this 25-26 February.

Details:
Collect a passport and have fun learning while playing games at five stations. Make sure you get a stamp at each stop. Upon completion, each participant will be given a goody bag and a chance to enter a lucky dip.

Those not keen to run around the Zoo can also be a part of the fun in other ways! Write your wish for our local frogs on a message board near the entrance ticketing area. Face painting by our Conservation Ambassadors is also available for those who wish to get creative and look like their newfound frog friends

Date: 25-26 February 2012 (Sat-Sun)
Time: 9am – 5pm
Who can participate: Children 7-12 years
Registration: Next to entrance retail shop, Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Station Locations: Various (indicated below)
Note: Registration on a first come first served basis for 500 children each day so come early to avoid disappointment!

Metamorphosise!
Find out how frogs grow and see how these unique creatures differ from other animals through metamorphosis. Then try your hand at putting their stages of growth in the right order.

Location: Fragile Forest Entrance

Ecological pest busters!
Ever wondered what frogs eat to get their stunning colour? Get some tips from their diet for ideas on getting that healthy glow. Be warned though, for these jumpers are known to be great for pest control, so think twice before adopting their eating habits!

Location: Opposite Fragile Forest Entrance

“Count the Clutch?” and “Long Leap the King!”
Test your estimation skills by guessing the number of frog eggs in a clutch. The person with the closest guess gets to have their name on the scoreboard at the station. Kids can then see how they measure up against their newfound frog friends in a leaping challenge by taking part in a standing broad jump contest.

Location: Sheltered area at Orchid Garden

Tadfrog Match
Ever had anyone tell you that you have dad’s nose or mum’s eyes? Frogs however, look quite different from their young. Come see how good you are at piecing their family portrait together, and learn more about where and how they live. You might even get to see a real-life family of frogs!

Location: Opposite Fragile Forest

Frog, three, two, one… Can you save the frogs from extinction?
Kids will be challenged to finish our challenging frog puzzles as fast as they can and stretch their brainpower by identifying the species. The person who completes the jigsaw puzzle in the shortest time will have their name on our scoreboard.

Location: Sheltered area at Tropical Crops

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