Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin Travels the Globe to Solve the Mystery of 'THE VANISHING FROG'
- Wildlife Biologist Helps to Save the Frogs in New Special on November 20
SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 13 -- From the forests of Puerto
Rico to the jungles of Central America to the high Sierras of the American
West, the world's frogs are mysteriously vanishing. Experts believe that as
many as one-third to one-half of the planet's 5,743 known amphibian species
are in danger of disappearing -- victims of the most significant mass
extinction since the dinosaurs. Why are amphibians in such dire straits?
And how can we take action to save them? THE VANISHING FROG, a new
documentary from Animal Planet in partnership with The Clorox Company,
sends Jeff Corwin on an international mission to uncover clues about the
frogs' deadly plight. The documentary premieres Thursday, November 20 at 8
Habitat loss, climate change and a deadly fungus, chytrid, have led to
a dramatic increase in extinction rates among amphibians, causing a global
population crisis. Throughout THE VANISHING FROG, Corwin visits areas in
North and Central America where frogs used to live in abundance, only to
find there are few remaining. At each site, Corwin consults with regional
experts to find out what can be done, if anything, to help these precious
"Frogs are incredibly amazing creatures with a variety of astonishing
skills and innate abilities," says Corwin. "The plight of the small
amphibians is -- unfortunately -- quite large. Frogs have been with us
since before the dinosaurs; they are a critical part of the ecosystem and
now they are disappearing. They have the uncanny ability to adapt to almost
any environment, which has enabled them to colonize every piece of land in
the world except Antarctica and Iceland, but now face their greatest
The leading cause of amphibian extinction is habitat destruction, but a
deadly fungus known as chytrid has dramatically increased the rate of
extinction, in Panama, Costa Rica and even in the U.S. Right now, the only
way to save frogs from the chytrid fungus is to rescue them from the wild
and take them into protective custody. Frogs that are rescued are treated
with anti-fungal chemicals to combat the chytrid. Anything else that has
contacted water during the rescue is treated with a bleach solution, from
boots and clothing to instruments and transport containers to help control
the spread of fungus to new, uncontaminated areas.
Last fall, Clorox became the first corporate sponsor of the "Year of
the Frog" and signed on to THE VANISHING FROG project while it was still in
development. In addition, Clorox is providing funding to complete the
construction of a visitors and education center at the El Valle Amphibian
Conservation Center in Panama, a project designed to help save amphibians
that are disappearing in the wild.
While focusing on conservation, THE VANISHING FROG celebrates the
beauty and importance of frogs and other amphibians. Corwin tells the story
of amphibians worldwide as viewers get an up close look at species such as
the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, the Coqui Frog and the enormous hellbender
salamanders that are all in danger of extinction. With the help of research
institutions like James Madison University and the University of Puerto
Rico, THE VANISHING FROG attempts to illustrate to viewers the wondrous
array of amphibians, while informing them of their global plight. Without a
global effort to protect and preserve these animals, they could disappear
forever. Along the way, Corwin even makes a rare discovery.
"Jeff is so passionate about raising awareness for this crisis and has
such a deep knowledge of the issues affecting these fascinating creatures
that he is the perfect person to take us on this journey of discovery,"
says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media.
"We are honored to have been able to support the production of THE
VANISHING FROG," said Nick Vlahos, Clorox vice president overseeing the
company's bleach division. "The efforts of Animal Planet and Amphibian Ark
will focus worldwide attention on the amphibian crisis."
THE VANISHING FROG is produced for Animal Planet by Discovery Studios.
The executive producer for Animal Planet is Melinda Toporoff, and the
executive producer for Discovery Studios is Chris Weber.
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery
Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses
viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep
content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners
access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for
immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and
enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available
in more than 93 million homes in the US; online assets
http://www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things
animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com,
the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and
other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service;
mobile content; and merchandising extensions.
*Clorox Regular Bleach is an EPA-registered fungicide.