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Aliens! They're everywhere! From the dandelions you curse each spring, to the sparrows and pigeons pooping on your car, to the carp muddying up your creek. Aliens are all around us.

Well what did you think? Of course it's not THAT kind of alien we're talking about, it's the real ones, alien species from right here on planet earth. Sorry if we got all you "X-Files" types excited, but we had to get people's attention.

International Day for Biodiversity - May 22, 2009 focused on raising awareness of invasive alien species of plants and wildlife, and the effects they have on biodiversity. Invasive alien species, or exotic species if you like, are plants and animals that have ended up in places where they don't belong, and hurting the local biodiversity in the process.

People have been moving plants and animals around the world, both intentionally and unintentionally, for centuries now. Some species have even found their own way to new environments, largely because we humans have opened the way for them. Plants and animals living and thriving where they don't belong can have huge consequences for the native plants and animals of a region, and can have dire effects on humans, too, especially our agriculture.

You can visit the International Day for Biodiversity 2009 website. Here's some local stuff, articles and links.

Buzzword Biodiversity!
To start us all thinking more about biodiversity, Dr. Robert Wrigley, Curator of the Assiniboine Park Zoo has prepared some amazing biodiversity facts: Buzzword Biodiversity!

Overpopulation, Poverty and Extinction!
An important essay by Dr. Wrigley, something we should all read and think about: Overpopulation, Poverty and Extinction.

Exotic Animals in Manitoba!
Yet another essay from Dr. Wrigley, find out about some of the Exotic Animals in Manitoba.

Here's some links for more information on invasive alien species:

Canada - Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Manitoba | Hinterland Who's Who | Environment Canada - Invasive Species | Forest Invasive Alien Species | Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Alien Invasives

International - CBD Invasive Species | Wikipedia - Invasive Species | Global Invasive Species Database | National Invasive Species Information Center |



The Year of the Frog is officially over, but the spirit lives on. Many projects and programs begun in 2008 will keep running, and, hopefully, people will keep on learning about amphibians. So we're going to leave all this stuff up here and add to it as new cool frog stuff comes available. Remember, "frogs are friends". Check back regularly to see what else we've found to post here.

Here's something important, check out Save the Frogs Day!

"The International Day for Biological Diversity" and "The Year of the Frog" are two different international campaigns aimed at making people more aware of the variety of living things on this planet, and the need to take better care of those living things.

The International Day for Biodiversity

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22, "The International Day for Biological Diversity" (IBD) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Visit the IBD website and the IBD 2008 website for more international information.

Hey, check out the Children's Web Portal at the IBD Website, too!

The Year of the Frog

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), in conjunction with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums has declared 2008 to be the Year of the Frog. They have lots of stuff going on and you can check it out at their web sites:

Download the latest AArk Activity Report, Feb. 2008 (PDF 220 Kb). Lots of intersting information and links.

Then check out the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) site. Plus you can download their YOTF PowerPoint presentation from this link:

CAZA PowerPoint (PPT 4Mb)

And don't forget about the Frogwatch Canada site:

More International Links for YOTF and IBD

The Clorox Company, makers of Clorox Bleach, put up this website: They are helping frog conservation with financial support and providing their product to help sterilize equipment and enclosures used in frog rescue operations in zoos.

SAVE THE FROGS! (Save the is an international team of scientists, educators, policymakers and naturalists dedicated to protecting the world’s amphibian species: the frogs, toads, newts, salamanders as well as the lesser-known caecilians.


All the sensible folks working in conservation in Manitoba thought that since these two campaigns are really both about the same thing, promoting conservation of biodiversity, that we ought to roll them into one. So we did . . . well sort of. A bunch of the government and private conservation agencies in Manitoba have agreed to try and do some special things for IBD and YOTF, and NatureNorth is helping out by trying to list all these events, activities and goings-on. Check out the links below to see whats up.



Download Manitoba's Year of the Frog poster!

Click Here

(PDF 480 Kb)

For a great primer on biodiversity issues in Manitoba download this PDF file: Manitoba Biodiversity Perspectives (2 Mb) or go to Keewatin Publications' website for more Biodiversity Perspectives.

Tadpole Time! It's fast approaching that time of year when frogs get busy. Why not celebrate the Year of the Frog by raising wood frog tadpoles in your home or classroom. Check out these links in NatureNorth:

Wood Frogs in the Classroom | Wood Frogs | Frog Log | Amphibians of Manitoba

Winnipeg's Sargent Park School will be raising wood frog tadpoles this spring for the 15th straight year in 2009!

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