On Your Mark! Get Set! It’s time for Amphibian Week 2024 - Extreme Athletes: Amphibian Edition!

Authors: Erin Muths; Evan HC Grant; Kelly L Smalling; Michael J Adams
April 22, 2024

ARMI scientists will be in Washington, D.C. in May to showcase efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI), to support amphibian conservation, and to promote Amphibian Week 2024 | PARC (parcplace.org). There will be a hands-on, family friendly exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, events at the National Zoo, and a multi-federal agency amphibian festival on the National Mall. ARMI will provide opportunities to learn about field techniques like searching for salamanders on the forest floor, and a chance to observe some live, native amphibians. There will be coloring sheets, kid-friendly games and activities (e.g., test your knowledge and win a sticker at the trivia wheel!), and visits from Phil the Frog (#philthefrogdoesdc). Amphibian Week is sponsored by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) and many other international agencies like the Amphibian Conservation Alliance. ARMI participates year around with PARC and other federal agencies on the amphibian week planning committee to design events and develop themes and foci for each year’s amphibian week. In a nod to the upcoming summer Olympics, this year’s Amphibian Week is Extreme Athletes: Amphibian Edition, with daily themes including “Aquatics” “Gymnastics”, “Track and Field” and the Closing Ceremony focused on “Actions for Amphibians”.

Here are the events happening in D.C. at the beginning of Amphibian Week with highlights of ARMI participation (check out the amphibian week website for events after Monday!):

Saturday, May 4: 10 am – 12:30 pm ET

The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center (also known as Q?rius) at the Natural History Museum – Smithsonian The World and Me: Amphibian Week Kickoff Celebration with the USDA Forest Service and Friends! | Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (si.edu)

ARMI scientists will be there with several interactive stations, including the salamander migration game – a thrilling game of survival and chance! We will have several ways to learn about amphibians through trivia, coloring sheets, and stickers. As a bonus, Phil the Frog will be making a special guest appearance! The goal of this collaborative event, including the Smithsonian, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS) and USGS, is to bring the coolness of amphibians to the public and especially kids, through different stations that focus on the many fascinating characteristics of amphibians.

Sunday, May 5: 10 am – 2 pm ET

The Reptile Discovery Center at the National Zoological Park – Smithsonian (Reptile Discovery Center Exhibit | Smithsonian's National Zoo (si.edu))

ARMI scientists will assist herpetologists from the National Zoo with an event highlighting amphibians, kicking off the official start of Amphibian Week. Activities will include activities in the Reptile Discovery Center, live amphibian demonstrations, the Appalachian salamander exhibit, and opportunities to observe feeding time for the resident Japanese giant salamander.

Monday, May 6: 11 am – 1 pm ET

The National Mall - lawn of the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) – The Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC Maps - National Mall and Memorial Parks (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

This multi-agency Amphibian Week event on the mall is hosted by USGS. Agencies, including NPS, FWS, BLM, USDA, FS, and USGS will be participating in a festival setting with different stations to learn about amphibians. In addition to the activities mentioned for the Q?rius event, ARMI scientists will be showing off a diversity of live amphibians. While these amphibians will be in aquariums, they will afford the public an opportunity to get up close and observe salamanders, frogs, and toads. Phil the Frog will be onsite!

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