Leap Day for Frogs 2019 will be held on 28th February

(but feel free to participate any time during that week)



Amathole Toad

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What is the aim of Leap Day for Frogs?
It is one day of the year when ordinary South Africans can take a leap of action and do something to appreciate and protect one of the most threatened group of animals on Earth: Frogs! These important creatures are disappearing all over the planet largely because of habitat destruction.

Why February ?
Apart from having tongues 1/3 the length of their bodies, frogs are also famous for leaping across long distances – up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap! The South African Cape River Frog holds the world record for Frog Jumping – the longest distance covered in three consecutive jumps – at 10.3 m? Not bad for a 5 cm frog! And if you think about it, February leaps into March, skipping days 29, 30 and 31 except on Leap years, which occur every four years, adding the 29th of February to the calendar. People born on this day are called “Leaplings”.

Fun froggy facts

There are 7,954 amphibian species (Dec 5, 2018), of which 7,027 are frogs and toads, 717 are newts and salamanders, and 210 are caecilians.
South Africa’s smallest frog is the Northern Moss Frog, Arthroleptella subvoce, at 14 mm. It is known only from the Groot Winterhoek Mountains in the Western Cape.
• Not all frogs have tadpoles. There are many terrestrial frog species that emerge as froglets directly from the egg, bypassing the tadpole stage altogether. For example, the Bush Squeaker which occurs in KwaZulu-Natal

• Amphibians are the oldest land vertebrates. Ichthyostega was an amphibian species that lived in Greenland 362 million years ago.
• South Africa’s smallest frog is also one of its most threatened. The appropriately named Micro Frog, which gets up to a maximum length of 18 mm, is Critically Endangered and known only from 4 localities in the southwestern Cape.
• And, our largest species is the Giant Bullfrog which reaches 25 cm and weighs in at 1.4 kg. 80% of this species’ habitat has been lost in urban areas, particularly Guateng.
• Some species only live a few years, but many live 6 or 7 years. The African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis can live more than 30 years in captivity.

How can I get involved?
Arrange a fun froggy event on the 28th of February 2019 with your friends, family, school or colleagues. Click here for ideas

This year we’re calling on all schools to get involved and help us to make a difference. Take part in this year’s Leap Day on 28 February by dressing in green and donating R10 towards the conservation and protection of some of South Africa’s most endangered frog species…and have some fun in the process! Schools/organisations with the most participants stand to win a prize. Schools can register to participate here and can share their fabulous photos of the event afterwards on the Leap Day for Frogs Facebook page.

The EWT Threatened Amphibian Programme (EWT-TAP) will use the day towards the protection and conservation of three of our most endangered frog species: Amathole Toad , Pickersgill’s Reed Frog and Western Leopard Toad.