Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Celebrate Leap Day by Leaping with Disney!

Leap Day 2012 just happens to fall on Disney’s Wildlife Wednesday, so it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about frogs, toads and other amphibians along with the guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Disney Blog posted an article by Kathy Lehnhardt, Curator of Education, Disney’s Animal Programs about “Leap to Help Frogs on Leap Day.”

Here are some reasons Lehnhardt lists why you might want to care about leaping frogs and their friends:

Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? The good news is that every one of us can help amphibians leap ahead of extinction.

Here’s how:
• Invite a bug-zapping amphibian into your backyard by placing an overturned pot (toad abode) as a home
• Use fewer chemical pesticides on your lawn to keep amphibians healthy
• Build a pond, plant native shrubs, and leave leaf litter and logs in your yard to create a habitat for frogs
• Plan a family outing to a local pond to hear different species of frogs sing their love songs to one another
• Find natural alternatives to household chemicals so these toxins don’t end up in amphibian habitats
• Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home
• Find books on frogs to discover why they sing loudly, hear well and stay up late
Beyond their beautiful chorus, frogs also provide a free pest-control service. Frogs eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae.

Frogs also provide valuable scientific and medical benefits to humans. The skin of amphibians contains substances that can protect them from some microbes and viruses, which can offer possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS

As usual, Disney makes learning fun. The next time your family finds itself in Orlando on a timeshare vacation, head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. and join the fun at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where you and the kids can make toad abodes (special homes for frogs and toads) for your backyards, try leaping like a frog, listen to frog calls, examine amphibian adaptations, and meet some cool amphibians and their keepers on the Conservation Station stage.

Check out Orlando timeshare rentals and Disney timeshare rentals. Your vacation will not only be “toads of leaping fun!" but budget-friendly, too!

Photo Credit: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com

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