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Saving NZ’S Native Frogs

Media Information 25 September 2008

Saving NZ’S Native Frogs The Message of This Year’s Freddo Frog Roadshow

In a bid to help raise awareness of New Zealand’s endangered native frogs, Cadbury is kicking off its Freddo Frog Roadshow this weekend to coincide with Frog Week, which runs from 28 September until 4 October 2008.

The Freddo Frog Roadshow will visit five zoos, sanctuaries and museums around the country over September and October to raise awareness of New Zealand’s four remaining, protected species of native frog (Archey’s, Hochstetter’s, Hamilton’s and Maud Island frog.)

In 2008, the International Year of the Frog, Cadbury Freddo is proud to support native frog conservation by helping to raise awareness of these amphibians, which are completely unique to New Zealand and face extinction.

The Freddo Frog Roadshow will stop at all the main centres, visiting Otago Museum in Dunedin, Karori Sanctuary in Wellington, Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, Hamilton Zoo and finally Auckland Zoo.

The Roadshow is designed to help children learn the importance of frog conservation through fun and interactive activities including a listening station, touch post, story-teller, games and educational displays, all housed within a native forest-themed grove. Every visitor to the Freddo Grove will also receive a Freddo Frog educational booklet and have the chance to meet Freddo.

New Zealand frogs have a number special features that make them unlike any other frogs in the world. They have round rather than slit eyes, they hatch straight into almost fully-formed frogs instead of tadpoles, and they don’t croak regularly. They are unique to the New Zealand ecosystem and if they are not protected, could be extinct within our lifetime.

2008 Year of the Frog spokesperson Ruud “Bugman” Kleinpaste says the Freddo Frog Roadshow is a great place to take the kids to learn more about our native frogs and what we can do to help.

“For the past four billion years this world has survived everything that was thrown at it: asteroid impacts, severe cooling, intense heating, you name it and all without a carbon credit in sight. The only thing that helped this planet survive was a full complement of species: plants, animals, bacteria, fungi... yes, frogs too! We need our biodiversity to save the planet and we cannot lose any more species to extinction.

“So, let’s look after all we've got and that, of course, includes our special native frogs,” says Kleinpaste.

The Freddo Frog Roadshow aims to educate younger Kiwis that New Zealand’s frogs are a unique part of our natural heritage and must be protected.


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