Frogs and ecosystems

Tonight after our second flight this little frog hopped onto the road behind our setup table.

It has beautiful colours with the vivid green stripe and orange white and brown patterns. From my very brief book on various wildlife, I think this is the ornate frog.

Are any of you able to help confirm or correct? 

Frogs are such an important indicator of a healthy ecosystem and here in Hwange National Park there is a lot of good evidence showing that nature is progressing.  

The difficulty in a conservation manager’s role within a defined park is to maintain such a healthy ecosystem, allowing nature to persist within a defined area.

Luckily in Zimbabwe and Botswana there are limited fences so animals are still able to roam but the protection of them is compromised as they travel across highways, through towns and farms. In places like South Africa where there are fences, managing naturally growing populations within a fixed area is something that Has to be manually managed within the budgets that the parks have.  Having more animals than the land can sustain strains the nutrient availability in the soils and plants and water availability thus eventually harming the wildlife.

It is an idealist who wants all the animals saved and transported to where their populations are dwindling in other parts of Africa: this is a costly exercise and stressful for the animal. The alternatives are culling, cropping and allowing limited sustainable hunting. I still don’t understand why people enjoy hunting, but if planned appropriately by the conservation management of an area to sustain overall population growth then allowing particular sustainable hunting can also provide much needed funds to a park. We learnt during our course how much hunting concessions in Africa have actually contributed to protecting wildlife as contradictory as it sounds! They keep wilderness areas wild allowing an entire ecosystem to live (including those that don’t get hunted), whereas if it wasn’t a hunting concession it would probably be a farm which would either destroy the land from overgrazing or ruin the ecosystem through monoculture.


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