Leap Day – Day of the Frog

Tomorrow is Leap Day or International Day of the Frog. It’s kind of like Christmas for Frogs, but only once every four years. So I hope you’ll be joining me in the celebrations. I’ll be sharing lots of frog-related news with you.

Some of New Zealand’s most endangered species are frogs. NZFrog notes that nearly one third of the world’s amphibians are threatened with extinction and that this is the single largest extinction since the disappearance the dinosaurs. Six out of New Zealand’s seven frog species are endangered (including all 4 native species and 2 introduced species).

Some of the leading causes of frog endangerment and extinctions are habitat loss, over exploitation, introduced species and climate change. And, as you may have guessed from reading this blog, frogs can be a bit shy at times when it comes to forming relationships which doesn’t help the population count either. New Zealand’s Hamilton‘s Frog on Stephens Island in the Marlborough Sounds is one of the rarest frogs in the world, with a population estimate of only about 300.

If you’re in Auckland and you want to celebrate Leap Day you can help fundraising for endangered frogs by heading along to the Zoo where House of Shem and Katchafire are playing.

If your in central Wellington keep an eye out for Metiria and her band of frogs on and around Lambton Quay during the afternoon as they are out holding leap frog competitions, climbing trees, taking pictures here and there, chatting to people about frogs, and having coffee.  I hear there might be similar frog activities in other towns too.

Or you may just like to take up one of NZFrog‘s suggestions to help them with their work to save endangered frogs.

And of course I’m sure other blogs will be writing about Leap Day too. Kiwiblog will be uncovering the story of a frog advocacy group that has been silenced by the Electoral Finance Act, the Standard will discuss how John Key pulls the legs off frogs when no one is looking. I expect No Right Turn to have detailed policy analysis on possible legislative action relating to the Maud Island Frog. Hard News will report on the cultural impact that Archey’s Frogs had by releasing a song of their mating call exclusively to iTunes. Whale Oil will continue to amuse his readers by photoshopping Jeanette’s head onto a frog (guffaw).

Photo Credit for Archey’s Frog: NZFrog

43 Comments Posted

  1. I remember something a good while ago about there being an ice age coming. Did it ever get here? If so when and did they know what caused it? Maybe the same problem is what is going to cause this climate change. If so I hope I miss this like I missed the return of the ice age. I agree we need to do something about the pollution and gasses however as a lay person, if there is going to be a global warming, I’m not sure there is anything we can actually do.

  2. BJ

    There is an agenda behind the climate change movement that often clouds the opinions of those who are not convinced, it is also fair to say that not all scientists are of the same mind.

    Those who dare question climate change are usually abused and ridiculed, I am not prepared to blindly accept the climate change argument nor am I happy about the ridiculous costs we are going to have to face when our efforts will mean NOTHING in the global “fight” against climate change.

    Lets have a commission, let the judges hear both sides of the argument and then we might get somewhere near the truth.

  3. BB

    You still haven’t explained why the truth discovered by scientists is not true until a Royal Commission is convened.

    If the value and accuracy of science can only be judged by political appointees and lawyers then maybe we should simply let them do all the science.

    The problems I have with it are the time wasted, the money wasted and the inference that they understand the science better than the scientists.

    I have no doubt of what they would find.

    You want a Royal Commission to tell you that the scientists aren’t lying to you, to each other and to the world at large? The implication of your need to have one is that you think this is a risk.

    I worked at NASA JPL. Those guys do not give a rat’s butt about the politics and they could no more have a conspiracy than you can keep control of a herd of cats. They worship the truth FIRST.

    You are implying something that is..in a way, quite insulting.


  4. Isn’t increased variability with an upward temperature trend a part of ‘climate change predictions’ anyway?

  5. BB

    I am still wondering why you’d waste good money and valuable time taking this to a Royal Commission.

    You can’t explain this to me in any satisfactory way without implying that you think lawyers and laypeople and political appointees are better at science than scientists.

    If you CAN you certainly haven’t. Until you DO I am under no obligation to accept the additional expense and delay as necessary.

    I am in no way worried about having one or the outcome except that it will waste time. I know the scientific case, and I know the risk management case and both of them are quite overwhelming. Easterbrook decided it’s happening. Lomborg admits that it is happening. Denial that it is actually going on is almost as scarce in the scientific community as phlogiston physics.

    I’m still being nice here… I LIKE you because you give honest opinions and have some things in common with us all.


  6. It is just as I thought, those pushing the climate change con are scared of an independent inquiry.

    The obvious question is why?

  7. samiuela

    Perhaps the “consensus” is often overstated.

    Meanwhile, that graph is interesting, eh? Wonder what happens if it keeps tracking down?

  8. StephenR,

    I realise that the scientific journals are not for the layperson. However, what else can someone like BluePeter do, if they are suspcious of all the organisations which try and summarise the scientific research in an easier to understand form?

  9. samuiela, the scientific journals aren’t exactly for the ‘layperson’. Even the abstracts are often pretty complicated. Unless you’re illustrating a point about how much ‘experts in the field’ are needed, the journals probably aren’t going to be that much help (especially since they are pretty hard to access in the first place!)

  10. Frof asked Who is Muriel Newman? I presume it is DR Muriel Newman BSc Mathematices. Unfortunately more recently a Member of Parliament. Possibly the latter experience has csrabmled her brains so that her earlier training doesn’t work anymore.

  11. BluePeter,

    I know you are suspicious of the IPCC. I don’t know why you aren’t also suspicious of the meeting in New York you mention.

    In any case, why don’t you go and have a look at the scientific journals and make your own mind up on the matter?

  12. So a “Royal Commission” made up largely of people who have no depth of knowledge of science will prove to you that the science accepted by the IPCC and pretty much every other scientific organization on the planet should be accepted by you? … or in the unlikely event, they will reject all of that body of knowledge to embrace some other theory?


  13. big bro said: I can see no earthly reason why we should not have this royal commission

    BB, I thought you were opposed to the State wasting money on things. This would be a waste of money, because the science has all been done.

    BluePeter said: (quoting) to call attention to widespread dissent in the scientific community to the alleged “consensus? that the modern warming is primarily man-made and is a crisis

    That is not the consensus, BP. They are mis-stating it – for political reasons I suspect. No-one really knows to whether modern warming is primarily man-made, and no-one really knows if it is yet a crisis.

    What the science tells us is that if we keep increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, as we are doing, we will warm the atmosphere and there will be a crisis. Short-term, there can be other factors that may play a part – one way or the other.

    If there are any arguments, they are about how fast it is happening. It’s a matter of “when” that may be in dispute, not “if”.

  14. Frog

    I am not and never have said that Newman has convinced me, all I am saying is that I can see no earthly reason why we should not have this royal commission.

    I will admit that I do not believe that climate change is man made but I am not afraid of the findings of a royal commission.

  15. An inconvenient cooling. Latest data released today: tinyurl.com/2z8dux


    “Hundreds of scientists, economists, and public policy experts from around the world will gather on March 2-4, 2008, at the Marriott New York Marquis Hotel on Manhattan’s Time Square, to call attention to widespread dissent in the scientific community to the alleged “consensus? that the modern warming is primarily man-made and is a crisis”

    Probably all a right-wing media conspiracy of some sort….

  16. Big Bro – how would Muriel’s Commission convince you one way or another on the issue when the 2,500 climate experts from 130 countries who contributed to the IPCC’s latest Assessment Report have failed to convince you? If Muriel knows something that the entire global community of climate scientists is not yet aware of, she would do well to draw it to their attention now.

  17. BB, it’s basic (if there is such a thing) quantum physics. Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases must cause the surrounding atmosphere to be warmed when bombarded by infra-red radiation. The theory says it should happen, and scientific experiments in controlled conditions show it does happen.

    Of course there may be other things happening in an uncontrolled environment such as the atmosphere from time to time that can counter the effect. But that doesn’t negate the fact that our actions in releasing these gases is changing the climate from what it otherwise would be.

  18. Thats called the IPCC. See above for all that ‘consensus’ stuff.

    Frog, couldn’t a ‘climate science organisation’ include say the NZ based Climate Science Coalition? Meaning just the fact that they ARE may not mean a lot. Though those ones on Wikipedia are heavyweights for sure!

  19. Stephen

    If the findings of an independent commission supported doing nothing or that climate change is NOT man made then so be it.
    If however they found that it IS caused by man then surely that would add weight to your argument.

    It worries me that there are so many who do not want a full and frank discussion or investigation into the whole climate change issue.

  20. It’s not just Oreskes. Wikipedia has statements by 17 climate science organisations concurring with the consensus, including the much maligned but massively representative IPCC. Green Facts defines ‘Scientific Consensus’ as the position generally agreed upon at a given time by most scientists specialized in a given field. It does not mean all scientist are unanimous: disagreements may occur and can be necessary for science to progress. It also does not mean the position is definitive: the consensus can evolve with the results from further research and contrary opinions. Therefore, Scientific Consensus is not a synonym of “Certain Truth”. But when the scientific expertise to judge a scientific position is lacking, the best choice is to rely on the Consensus.

  21. Depends if that Oreskes article counts for anything or not. No doubt I am a massively biased pinko or something but a Commission would give plenty of ammo to the argument NOT do anything until we get it and…ugh, politics.

  22. If the Greens are so sure that the weight of scientific opinion is behind them why on earth would you not support a royal commission?

    The findings could only help your cause, hell it might even convince me that there is something to it.

  23. Dr Muriel Newman says

    the blind adherence of the government to the theory that man-made greenhouse gas emissions will have a calamitous effect on our climate,

    Perhaps some one with some credibility…

    Never mind. Waste of time.


  24. it’d sure be a turnup for the books if a little old nz royal commission suddenly popped up & said “oi world, we’ve just resolved that whole global warming debate once & for all!”

  25. Will the Greens support Muriel Newman’s call for an independent royal commission into climate change/global warming?

    I would have thought that this is an extremely good idea, the pubic need to hear the findings of a TRUE independent commission, failure to support this commission would suggest that one side or the other has a hidden agenda.

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