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Frog Expert Opposes Mining behind Whangamata

November 21, 2011

Frog Expert Opposes Mining behind Whangamata

An international expert on endangered frogs spoke recently to a community meeting in Whangamata. Dr Phil Bishop expressed strong support for protecting the region's native frog habitat from mining.

The meeting organised by Earthwatch Whangamata and Coromandel Watchdog was fascinated by information provided by Dr Bishop who is from Otago University and is the Chief Scientist for the Amphibian Survival Alliance.

"Phil is a global expert on endangered frogs. He told us that Archey’s frog is the most endangered frog on the planet and Coromandel is a vital habitat for this species," says Coromandel Watchdog co-coordinator Renee Annan.

Ms Annan said that 50 people attended the presentation which included background on all New Zealand frogs and particularly our four rare native species.

"Phil clarified that Archey’s frog has some unique features such as their silence, their lack of external ears and their male parental care role. He said that Archey’s have been on the planet since the dinosaurs and are extremely vulnerable to the effects of habitat disturbance, pollution, disease and climate change”.

He works with groups like the Amphibian Ark and the Amphibian Specialist Group in a global effort to save amphibians of many varieties and he called on New Zealanders to appreciate the uniqueness of our ancient frogs and their extreme vulnerability.

Coromandel Watchdog and Earthwatch Whangamata have been working to protect the conservation areas behind Whangamata from drilling rigs owned by Glass Earth Gold and Newmont Gold, an area where native frog populations occur.

"We were delighted that Phil expressed his willingness to assist us scientifically and in our non violent protests to protect the vital and shrinking habitat of the world’s most endangered frog", Ms Annan said.

For further information visit www.watchdog.org.nz and www.nzfrogs.org.

ENDS

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