My inner animal: The leopard frog (again!)

You can try the Inner Animal app here. Read a post from another WWFer who has a leopard frog inside.
Like me, the Northern leopard frog likes to spend a good part of his time around the water – looking for food, recreating and just generally hanging out. Where we differ is what we do around water. Unlike my bright green buddy, my preferred watery adventures involve being on top of lakes and rivers in a canoe, rather than in them. A little known secret revealed – I got stuck at the tadpole stage when it comes to swimming. But come on – my job is to direct a conservation program, not to teach swimming lessons!
We both have an innate need for access to wild places. I get to feeling pretty closed in without my annual solo hikes in Algonquin Park and my Temagami canoe trips, which are the lower limits of what I need to maintain my connection to the wild world… more is always better. My friend the frog is feeling a bit squeezed out of the wild these days too. The biggest threat to the Northern leopard frog is loss of native habitat. While it was once commonly found in British Columbia, the leopard frog is now limited to the extreme southeastern portion of the province and has been designated as endangered in that area.
Finally, both my froggy friend and I are well known for taking a lot in from our environment. For me, it is the inundation of water news, reports from around the world, and advice and conversations with our marvelous freshwater team here at WWF-Canada that I have to filter through and make sense of each and every day – and I love it. For my friend, things are a little different. Frogs are known for their ability to absorb substances through their skin. Among those substances are pollutants that have been linked to physical malformations in frogs, including extra limbs. So while there are many days that I feel I would benefit from an additional arm or two, what for me is a casual comment is a sad reality for these frogs.
The mantra ‘Water for Nature, Water for People’ is oft heard in the hallways at WWF-Canada – it is a guiding principle of our work across the country and around the world. I take it as my responsibility do as much as I can to protect the quality and quantity of fresh water, and the critical habitat that will be essential to the future health of this and future generations – of both frogs and people.  I share this recent picture of my son with you because I think it nicely sums up the challenge we face, and why we must address it.

(c) Tony Maas/WWF-Canada
You can help support WWF-Canada’s conservation work by symbolically adopting a frog or another species at risk for the holidays.