When deciding to visit the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, thoughts of sea otters playing, sharks lurking in the shadows and rays gracefully swimming by are common among our guests; but there is a whole other world waiting to be discovered beyond the oceans and seas on our planet. One of the most important animals to our planets ecosystems can be found right in the ponds and swamps in our own backyards: frogs.

If you have been to the Aquarium before, you’ll have likely seen some of the unique frog species in our Frogs Forever? Gallery which details both their unique adaptations and their fragile state on our planet. Frogs have adapted to living in their semi-aquatic environments by breathing through their permeable skin. This means that if pollutants or chemicals are introduced into their environments, it can cause immediate harm. As a result, frogs play an important role as environmental indicators, warning us of the health status in our environment.

Vancouver Aquarium frog conservation

The Vancouver Aquarium plays a key role in breeding frogs at risk. Photo Credit: Kelly McAllister, Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

At the Vancouver Aquarium we’re working to help endangered frog species through conservation initiatives like Amphibian Ark where, along with other zoos and aquariums, we are breeding endangered species so that they can one day be released back into their natural environment. We have had continued success breeding and reintroducing the Oregon spotted frog and are now also working to breed the extinct in the wild Panamanian golden frog.

Frog conservation at Vancouver Aquarium

An Oregon spotted frog egg mass will lead to tadpoles that will eventually be released.

At the Aquarium frogs play another important role in educating and inspiring our guests. Being able to spot frogs can be tricky because of their amazing ability to camouflage with their environment. Here are a few tips to help you find them on your next visit:

  • Find frog shadows on the leaves: Using the light in the exhibits can help point out some of their more secretive hiding places.
  • Look on the underside of the leaves: Frogs have amazing suction abilities on their feet allowing them to defy gravity and hang upside down.
  • Look directly on the glass: This point might seem silly, but visitors often look so hard in the exhibit they can sometimes miss what is right under their nose.
  • Find the moving object: Frogs are excellent at staying still and use that to their advantage to sneak up on their prey. They can also jump from high areas, landing on the leaves below.
Frogs at the Vancouver Aquarium

Some frogs are easier to spot than others in the exhibits!

Visit the Vancouver Aquarium on April 25, 2015, for Save the Frogs Day to learn more about our frog initiatives with special family programming highlighting the challenges these amphibians face.

You can also learn more about our frog conservation work online, or make a direct impact by donating to our frog conservation research today.

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