Teryl Nolan Aquarium Supervisor SeaWorld Florida 7007 SeaWorld Drive Orlando, Florida 32821 1. What is the name/location of your zoo/aquarium? SeaWorld located in Orlando, Florida 2 . What was your zoo’s/aquarium’s role in the Year of the Frog? SeaWorld opened a Year of the Frog exhibit area on Leap Day 2008 to help educate our guests about the plight of the world's amphibian populations. It includes 12 terrarium exhibits featuring species from around the world, species native to Florida and invasive species which have had devastating consequences on native populations. We have also actively participated in FRAWG (Florida Reptile and Amphibian Working Group) to increase awareness and communication between state agencies and zoo professionals. 3. What kind of response did you receive regarding the Year of the Frog? The Year of the Frog exhibit area has been tremendously popular with our guests. 4. What role will the zoos of the world play in saving declining toad and frog populations? Remember that chytrid, as a population devastating disease, is a huge part of the current problem, but it is only one component. Degradation of our environment worldwide has a huge effect, as well. Loss and degradation of habitat and global warming make populations susceptible to extinction on their own, but they also can weaken the fitness of a population, making them more susceptible to devastating diseases, such as chytrid. The role zoos play in educating our guests is critically important in the attempt to slow the amphibian decline. Every person can learn ways to have a lighter impact on the earth in their daily living. Zoos are also committing staff and funding to learn more about the chytrid fungus and how to combat it, as well as developing knowledge and techniques to reproduce the most endangered amphibian species in captivity. If zoos are able to serve as amphibian arks, it may be possible for them to protect populations of certain species, in the hopes that they can be reintroduced back to the wild at some point. 5. How can zoologists contribute to unraveling the mystery of chytrid fungus? There is a tremendous amount of information available on the internet as to how researchers are working to solve the mysteries of the chytrid fungus. 6. Have you had any frogs in captivity that have died from the chytrid fungus? If so, why? No. 7. Has your zoo/aquarium focused its research on the anatomy of the chytrid fungus or ways to protect the frogs from chytrid fungus and other diseases? No. We are currently focusing our efforts on educating our guests. 8. How is global warming, destruction of the world’s rainforests, greenhouse gases, and acid rain directly affecting frog/toad populations? All of the mentioned environmental problems affect the amphibian populations either directly or indirectly. They either directly cause destruction of habitat or they alter the environment enough that the amphibian populations are not able to adapt quickly enough to survive. 9. Now that the Year of the Frog is complete, is there anything you would like the public to know further regarding the chytrid fungus or declining amphibian populations? What would you like to see happen next for frogs? Just because Year of the Frog is over, it doesn't mean that the problem is resolved or that it is going away. Education, research and commitment by organizations and agencies worldwide will be necessary for the foreseeable future. 10. What is one thing you would like the public to appreciate about frogs? Frogs are the proverbial canary in the mine shaft. They are an indicator that the environment is in distress and now is the time to act to turn things around.
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