It’s not easy being green – on being a frog in New Zealand

On top of struggling for their own survival, New Zealand’s native frogs have an additional responsibility on their very little shoulders – being a barometer of forest health. Like other frogs around the world, our frogs are barometers of overall environmental health. That is because frogs breath through very sensitive skin and are more susceptible to disease, pollution and environmental changes. A decline in frog populations is usually an early signal of something awry in the environment – and potential threats to other animals, including people. But in New Zealand, three of our four remaining indigenous frogs are forest-dwellers – preferring shady, moist and undisturbed forests. Therefore, they also act as a measure of the health and distribution of our indigenous forest environments. Continue reading