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Saving the Frogs One Cup at a Time!
So what's the big deal about frogs, and what do they have to do with our coffee, you ask?
It's all about the frogs!
At Tree Frog Coffees, we know just how important frogs are as indicators to all sorts of
environmental problems, including global warming. Frogs can survive only in a proper
ecosystem, so when the frogs start dying, there is a problem. And that problem escalates
all the way up the food chain to us.
So basically, if we can keep the frogs alive in all of their known environments, then we are
coexisting as we are meant to with all other living beings on Earth, and in the end protecting ourselves.
The following information is provided by the Rainforest Alliance:
"About 4,000 species of frogs and toads are known to scientists, and another ten to
twenty species are discovered each year. Because of their acute sensitivity to changes
in the environment, such as deforestation, ozone depletion, global warming, and air
and water pollution, these amphibians are disappearing faster than most other wildlife.
Many frog species become extinct before scientists ever have a chance to learn of their
existence. Others are vanishing before our very eyes. Global frog declines are a sad
indicator of a decline in the planet's general health."
This is one of the main reasons why Tree Frog Coffees only purchases certified coffees that are grown using sustainable and responsible farming practices. Not only is sustainable farming better for the frogs, but the entire ecosystem, which of course includes us!
What Can You Do?
Scientists and many organizations worldwide have gotten together to educate the world about the importance of protecting frogs and other amphibians. You can learn more about frogs, how to protect them, and how to participate in various activities at the following websites:
Smithsonian National Zoo
Frog Watch USA - a partner of National Wildlife Federation
Here's an article from the Rainforest Alliance specifically
about our mascot and logo for Tree Frog Coffees
Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas)
Thanks to their big bulging red eyes, it's not hard to recognize red-eyed tree frogs! This alien-like feature is a defense mechanism called "startle coloration." When the frog closes its eyes, its green eyelids help it to blend in with the leafy environment. If the nocturnal frog is approached while asleep during the day, its suddenly open eyes will momentarily paralyze the predator, providing the frog with a few seconds to escape. However, the frogs' eyes are not their only fashion statement! To match the brilliance of their eyes, these frogs have bright lime green bodies that sometimes feature hints of yellow or blue. According to their mood, red-eyed tree frogs can even become a dark green or reddish-brown color. They have white bellies and throats but their sides are blue with white borders and vertical white bars. Their feet are bright red or orange. Adept climbers, red-eyed tree frogs have cup-like footpads that enable them to spend their days clinging to leaves in the rainforest canopy, and their nights hunting for insects and smaller frogs. Male red-eyed tree frogs can grow up to two inches in length and females can grow up to three inches.
First identified by herpetologist Edward Cope in the 1860s, the red-eyed tree frog is found in the lowlands and on slopes of Central America and as far north as Mexico. As with other amphibians, red-eyed tree frogs start life as tadpoles in temporary or permanent ponds. As adult frogs, they remain dependent on water to keep their skin moist, staying close to water sources such as rivers found in humid lowland rainforests. Red-eyed tree frogs can be found clinging to branches, tree trunks and even underneath tree leaves. Adults live in the canopy layer of the rainforest, sometimes hiding inside bromeliads.
Red-eyed tree frogs are carnivores, feeding mostly on insects. They prefer crickets, flies, grasshoppers and moths. Sometimes, they will eat smaller frogs. For tadpoles, fruit flies and pinhead crickets are the meals of choice.
Frogs have historically been an indicator species, evidence of an ecosystem's health or its impending vulnerability. Not surprisingly, the world's amphibian population has experienced a decline in recent years; research indicates that factors include chemical contamination from pesticide use, acid rain, and fertilizers, the introduction of foreign predators, and increased UV-B exposure from a weakened ozone layer that may damage fragile eggs. Though the red-eyed tree frog itself is not endangered, its rainforest home is under constant threat.