Students should use this sheet to learn how amphibians, including frogs, are the most threatened group of vertebrates on the planet with many species rapidly disappearing. They are called indicator species meaning their disappearance might be an early warning sign about unknown environmental problems.
After watching “Frogs: The Thin Green Line”, and reading/reviewing The Frog Scientist, students should answer these questions.
What ecological issue is Tyrone Hayes concerned about?
He is concerned about the disappearance and extinction of frogs as well as other amphibians.
What does he think is one cause for this issue?
He believes human action is one cause.
What do you think Tyrone Hayes means when he says, “I like the science, I like solving the puzzle, I like the CSI”?
There will be a variety of answers; this is a good way to evaluate prerequisite knowledge about the nature of scientific inquiry.
What percent of U.S. agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.) come from California?
What is California referred to because of its agricultural production?
It is referred to as the salad bowl of America.
What does California use more than every state in the U.S.?
It uses more pesticides.
Where do much of the pesticides end up?
They end up in waterways, like rivers, as farm run-off.
What can happen in a river that has fertilizer run-off and what does it indicate?
Algal blooms grow because of excess nutrients from fertilizers. They indicate an unhealthy river.
According to Dr. Hayes, what major health problem did the frogs in the river have?
They had compromised immune systems, which means that they cannot fight off infections.
What does Tyrone Hayes mention as the cause of the decline of the native red-legged frog?
The introduction of non-native bull frogs as competitors and predators is one cause of the decline.
What is another name for non-native or introduced species that take over a habitat?
They are called invasive species.