Members of the public often play an instrumental in detecting and reporting emerging phenomena, including patterns of disease. Since the mid-1990s, school-age students have helped draw attention to the issue of deformed frogs by submitting their own observations. These reports were initially collected and reviewed through the US Geological Survey’s North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM). Unfortunately USGS is no longer able to manage this website. We are therefore working in collaboration with National Geographic Society on a new reporting website, Malformation Nation. The site will be eventually be more user-friendly than ever, featuring enhanced mobile functionality – allowing users to capture geo-tagged images and upload them directly from their smart devices. We are also working to broaden the educational utility of NARCAM by developing mapping features that allow users to visually explore trends in the data. To learn more about malformations in amphibians, how to identify species, or report a malformation observation in your area visit Malformation Nation. Your reports are often very useful and are greatly appreciated; however, for your safety and that of the animal we must advise against getting too close to or handling any sick or diseased animals.
Ongoing declines of amphibian populations worldwide coupled with increasing reports of severe limb deformities have galvanized heightened conservation attention on amphibians. We have partnered with the non-profit organization Freshwaters Illustrated to communicate the plight of amphibians and underlying process of scientific inquiry to the public. Through ongoing production of photography, film, and educational modules, we aim to present an ‘insider-view’ of research to raise public awareness about the fascinating and disturbing consequences of amphibian malformations and highlight active efforts being conducted to understand their drivers.
Informational brochure on amphibian malformations
“What’s with the frogs?” YouTube video interview with Dr. Johnson
Freshwaters Illustrated Amphibian Deformities Project
Animal Planet’s Most Extreme Animal Transformer
Have you found deformed or diseased animals? If so, you can contact us to make a report. Please include as much information as you can about the time and location of the incident. Photos are a great way to document these incidents and, in addition to photos of the animals, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the surroundings as well. Your reports are often very useful and are greatly appreciated; however, for your safety and that of the animal we must advise against getting too close to or handling any sick or diseased animals. Reports can be e-mailed to Pieter Johnson or submitted through Malformation Nation.