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Leap To It For Frogs This Labour Weekend

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

16 October 2008 - The Cadbury Freddo Frog Roadshow is at Auckland Zoo this Labour Weekend, so both grown-ups and littlies can leap in and learn all about New Zealand's four endangered species of native frogs, and how to help save them.

The roadshow's native forest-themed Freddo Grove will be open every day from Thursday 23 October to Monday 27 October (10.30am to 1.30pm), with plenty of fun activities to get Kiwis excited about these unique amphibians in this, the international Year of the Frog.

Every visitor to the Freddo Frog Roadshow will receive an educational booklet and have the chance to meet Freddo. There'll be the opportunity to chat with a frog expert zookeeper from 10.30am to 11.00am, get along to the frog story-telling session (12.00 to 12.30pm), explore interactive displays like the touch-post and listening station, and play games such as leap frog.

Zoo visitors can also check out live frogs and other fascinating amphibians like the Japanese fire-bellied newt at the zoo's rainforest-themed classroom, Rakau, from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

The zoo's Native Frog Research Centre - a captive breeding, research and advocacy facility for New Zealand's native Archey's frog is also worth seeing. While visitors cannot go inside, its external area features extensive displays and a special video about our native frogs.

Over a third of the world's 6,300 amphibian species are now threatened with extinction after thriving for over 360 million years. This is due to the deadly disease amphibian chytrid fungus, habitat loss, pollution, introduced, introduced species and climate change.

"New Zealand's Archey's frog is the most critically endangered and evolutionarily distinct frog in the world, and our Hamilton's, Maud Island and Hochstetter's frogs all fall within the top 60 most threatened amphibians," says the zoo's New Zealand fauna team leader, Andrew Nelson.

"We hope lots of people will get along to the Freddo roadshow to discover more about these incredible vertebrates that play such a vital role in keeping our eco-systems healthy, but are sadly in such big trouble worldwide."

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