While guests are celebrating One More Disney Day at Magic Kingdom Park here in Florida and Disneyland park in California, some of our Walt Disney World Resort guests will be leaping, hopping and jumping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during a Leap Day event aimed at helping guests learn more about frogs, toads and other amphibians.
During their visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, children and families can make toad abodes (special homes for frogs and toads) for their backyards, try leaping like a frog, listen to frog calls, examine amphibian adaptations, and meet some cool amphibians and their keepers on the Conservation Station stage.
Guests also can learn about the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, which we are raising at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and releasing in their native habitat to re-populate the species in an area where these toads once thrived but are now considered extinct.
Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? The good news is that every one of us can help amphibians leap ahead of extinction. Here’s how:
- Invite a bug-zapping amphibian into your backyard by placing an overturned pot (toad abode) as a home
- Use fewer chemical pesticides on your lawn to keep amphibians healthy
- Build a pond, plant native shrubs, and leave leaf litter and logs in your yard to create a habitat for frogs
- Plan a family outing to a local pond to hear different species of frogs sing their love songs to one another
- Find natural alternatives to household chemicals so these toxins don’t end up in amphibian habitats
- Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home
- Find books on frogs to discover why they sing loudly, hear well and stay up late
Beyond their beautiful chorus, frogs also provide a free pest-control service. Frogs eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae. Frogs also provide valuable scientific and medical benefits to humans. The skin of amphibians contains substances that can protect them from some microbes and viruses, which can offer possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS.
Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):
- Apr. 13-22: Party for the Planet for Earth Day
- May 12: International Migratory Bird Day
- July 18: Pollinator Day
- August: Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
- Sept. 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
- Sept. 26: Elephant Awareness Day
- Oct. 31: Bat Day