31 December 2007

Love 'em or Lose 'em

Being in love makes everything look different. Suddenly, doing the dishes, which used to be a chore, turns into an act of gratitude. A kiss becomes not just an exchange of physical pleasure, but a deep communication of affection and desire. A trip to the shopping mall is no longer an item on the to-do-list, but an opportunity to shower the loved one with gifts.

Loving is a great act of unselfishness, and sometimes unselfishness means sacrificing to make the loved one happy.

The world, right now, needs some love.

More specifically, the frogs, toads, and other amphibians of the world, need some love. They're desperate for love. In fact, if they don't get some love soon, they'll die. From agricultural pollutants, from invasive species, from poaching and hunting, from deadly disease, and climate change. Without some love, thousands of species of amphibians will be extinct, before my yet-to-be-born children ever have a chance to meet them, or get to know them.

In the past decade or so, over a hundred amphibians have become extinct. About 3000 more are in danger of disappearing. Amphibians are a vital link in ecosystems around the world, and as they disappear, those ecosystems will begin to crumble. And as they disappear, so will the medical cures that they hold. Cures that are the key to saving the lives of people we love.

All of this lack of love is not because amphibians are unlovable, or because people don't want to love them. It's just that sometimes we're not very good at knowing how to show our love. Sometimes we bring flowers, when a back rub would have been more appropriate. Sometimes we try to say the right words, when we should have just listened.

So how do you love a frog? 2008 has been designated the Year of the Frog (YOTF), and it's purpose is to show the amphibians of the world that they are loved, and to show people how to love them. The Amphibian Ark, a collaboration between conservation organizations, is leading the effort, and will be promoting frog conservation around the globe. Their plan is to work with zoos, botanical gardens, museums, universities, or anyone else that is able, to house the most endangered species, until the extinction crisis can be averted. The eventual goal, of course, is to return the species to the wild.

So. This year, 2008, love a frog. Get involved. Tell your friends. Volunteer. Live greener. Sign the petition. Learn more. Donate. Love.


Katie said...

Out. of. con. trol. (with the lovey-dovey-ness.)

Jeff said...

So many animal classes need this love. It's a little overwhelming where to start, to make a difference. But the amphibians are a good place to start. It's not going to take a herculaen (sp) effort to avert their mass extinction. Just some really smart moves by the scientists, a lot of little donations to Amphibian Ark from most of us, and a smaller number of really big donations from the wealthy. Thanks for kicking off the year of the ark with a great call to action.

Terrell said...

Just wanted you to know that we linked to this article in the March issue of Learning in the Great Outdoors. I enjoy your blog.