Spring Peeper Musical (late Feb. or early Mar.)

February 15, 2008

The idea of calling frogs’ mating calls a “musical” isn’t my idea — that credit goes to the folks at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and/or Shaw Nature Reserve.  They’re inviting kids 5 and up out to the reserve’s 30-acre wetland to hear the annual chorus of thousands of frogs and toads, which the course catalog describes as “thunderous.”  The party starts after dark, so a guide will lead participants to the spot where the frogs and toad are belting it out.  Flashlight-toting kids and adults can then see the amorous amphibians in all their glory.

It sounds an awful lot like a live version of a Discovery Channel show — except there’s no TV guide for this one.  They’re not even sure on the date yet, as Mother Nature dictates when the songs begin.  To sign up, you have to dial 636.451.3612, extension 6075, and put your name on a callback list.  There is a fee, although it’s reasonable:  $5 for  members and $7 for non-members (adults and kids are  the same price), plus the gas to get out to Shaw, which is off Interstate 44 near Gray Summit  (about 35 miles from downtown).

Although the course catalog doesn’t mention the danger amphibians are under from threats like contaminated habitats, global climate change and deadly fungi, it’s hard not to wonder whether the chances for us to view a display like this might be gone forever in a few years.  An organization called Amphibian Ark has proclaimed 2008 the Year of the Frog, and its homepage is a good resource to learn more about the global prognosis for amphibians.  One of the group’s stats:  One-third to one-half of the planet’s 6,000 known amphibian species are in danger of going extinct.  (Lest you worry that such info is Internet gobbledy-gook, one of the group’s sponsors is the World Association of Zoos and Aqauriums.)

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One Response to “Spring Peeper Musical (late Feb. or early Mar.)”

  1. mom22kids Says:

    After I posted this, I read a great article in the Post-Dispatch about the Saint Louis Zoo’s new Living World exhibit, also about amphibians. The article also noted that Amphibian Ark’s president hails from our zoo. Check it out here: “Zoo will be hoppin’ on Leap Day” http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/sciencemedicine/story/6E5FB009335043DD862573F20080D715?OpenDocument

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