It’s that time of year again—spring is just around the corner and, even before that, we’ll be adjusting our clocks forward for Daylight Saving time. It’s also the time of year that we “spring forward” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to celebrate frogs, toads and other amphibians.
When guests visit Rafiki’s Planet Watch on March 4, during a special connecting families with nature event, meet cool amphibians and the animal experts who care for them. They also will be able to make toad abodes (special homes for frogs and toads) for their backyards, try leaping like a frog, listen to frog calls, and examine amphibian adaptations.
Guests can find out about Florida’s native frogs, which are one of the many animals that are part of the Disney’s Animal Programs native wildlife program. Our team monitors animals as varied as amphibians, gopher tortoises and butterflies, as well as dozens of bird species at the Walt Disney World Resort, where nearly one-third of the property has been set aside as a dedicated wildlife conservation area.
Guests also can learn about the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, which we are raising at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 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? To find out more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation
Here’s how to help frogs:
- Invite a bug-zapping amphibian into your backyard by placing an overturned pot (toad abode) as a home–frogs provide a free pest-control service (they eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae)
- 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
- Find natural alternatives to household chemicals so these toxins don’t end up in amphibian habitats
- Plan a family outing to a local pond to hear different species of frogs sing their love songs to one another
- Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home
Upcoming 2014 events for connecting families with nature (as always, dates subject to change):
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
- April 22: Party for the Planet for Earth Day
- May 6: International Migratory Bird Day
- May 20: World Turtle Day
- June 10: Pollinator Day
- July 29: Big Cat Day
- August 5: Primate Day
- September 23: Elephant and Rhino Day
At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:
- April 22: Earth Day
- May 20: World Turtle Day
- June 4: World Ocean Day