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Caring For Our Collection During COVID-19

It warms our hearts to hear that despite the difficult times brought on by the on-going pandemic, so many of our dedicated frog sponsors and visitors still think about our collection, and wonder about our frogs as the University of Manchester as well as the Museum remain closed.


We would like to take this opportunity to reassure our frogblog readers and friends of our collection that all of our animals are still receiving the highest standards of care.
As the health and safety of our staff remain paramount during the virus outbreak, we have worked hard to devise a working schedule that accommodates the recommended social distancing guidelines, while continuing as key workers to provide all of the necessary resources and daily care for our collection.

In short, for our animals, nothing has changed (and if anything, our Fijian Iguana just loves grapes now more than ever.)


Disappearing like Tears in the Rain



Online resources for children

Here you can download some environmental education activity worksheets – Why not print them all off and create a supper booklet for children to enjoy:


It’s full of things to do, and can be used a great resource to base further activities on!

Aimed at Primary school level learning, and featuring Lucy Marland and the conservation of the Lemur Leaf Frog, these educational worksheets are supported visually by a series of 3 short videos (which I invite you to watch below)

The resources are available in both English and Spanish Languages by following the link at the bottom of this post..

Emergency Fundraising Appeal

For many young people in the local area it’s more important than ever that Inspire Chorley Youth Zone continues to be there for them. Behind the scenes their amazing team are busy planning for all eventualities.

Even if schools close the will remain available or young people, although the offering will be adjusted to meet the needs of their most vulnerable members. No young person should go hungry, feel isolated or left to cope in difficult circumstances, so are they’re doing all they can do to be there for the young people in the area. Their plans are evolving but includes the following provisions:

Access to a lunch club with limited sessions for those receiving free school meals, under child protection plans and being supported by the Family Health and Well being service.
Dedicated helpline and proactive contact for young people considered most vulnerable and in crisis.
Extension of detached youth work and outreach services within the community.
Daily social media live sessions from Youth Zone’s gym and dance instructors, arts experts etc.
Support to the local community in the delivery of essential supplies to the elderly and the possibility of day care support for emergency/ essential services.

However the largest challenge they are now facing is to ensure they’ve  the finances available to deliver the above and to be able to pay their staff who are bravely supporting the most vulnerable young people.


They need to make urgent changes to their programmes to adapt to the situation and protect the young people they work with – But at the same time, the coronavirus is putting our plans at risk and they’re facing a huge drop in income.

To balance their budget in 2020, they are dependent on thousands of pounds in income but with the cancellation / postponement of many events and uncertainty for many, there plans are now at risk and as many of their supporters will know, they are a young charity with very limited financial reserves.

If you’re able to, please make an emergency donation now and help them keep their work on track through the coronavirus health crisis.



Recent at INSPIRE

West Midlands Presentation

Amphibian Foundation Bridge Program

The Amphibian Foundation, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, has announced that their the new Bridge Program for Conservation Research has now been launched. On the program their scientific experts will mentor participants in the US through lab and field projects at their globally-recognized amphibian conservation centre based in Atlanta. All research projects will contribute to the conservation of threatened and endangered amphibians and participants will gain unique skills in biological research to help address the conservation needs of several endangered species.

I have just been sent the following information to share with you: here is a  flyer to share with others who might be interested in the new program. For more information, visit their website at


What is the Bridge Program?

AF’s Bridge Program offers the opportunity for adult students to explore and conduct research focused on the conservation of imperiled amphibians in the southeast United States. This academic program is designed to help students gain career experience and scientific skills. Students are mentored by globally-recognized scientists and directly contribute to the conservation of amphibians.

Who can apply? 

All interested adults (age 18+) can apply to AF’s Bridge Program. The program is intended for:

  • high school graduates who want to explore conservation and gain skills before attending college
  • college students who want research experience during their studies
  • college graduates seeking opportunities to develop their biology and conservation training

Where is the program located? When does it start?

The Amphibian Foundation is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Students are required to be on site during the session. The summer session runs May 11 to August 21, 2020 (deadline for deposit is Saturday, April 11, 2020). The fall session starts September 8, 2020 (deadline for deposit is Saturday, August 8, 2020).

What is the curriculum?

Unique to the Bridge Program, the developed curriculum is specifically tailored for each student based on conservation interests and career goals. All curriculum includes contextualized instruction, opportunities to explore areas of specialization, and career development and transition into conservation research. Students rotate working in the captive propagation (breeding) and husbandry labs of diverse reptiles and amphibians, including threatened and endangered amphibians, and participate in

  • field work (e.g., contributing to research projects monitoring flatwoods salamanders and gopher frogs)
  • guided research (e.g., designing a project, drafting manuscripts)
  • creative expression (e.g., illustration, photography, writing)
  • education and outreach

Our program also includes certificate courses in Master Herpetologist and Venomous Reptile Handling.

For more information, visit: http://bridge.amphibianfoundation.org/


Vivarium Vacancy

Have you a passion for all things herpetological?

Would you love to work in a world class museum?

Do you care about the conservation of species?

Can you help us to make a difference?


We now have a vacancy for a new herpetologist to work with our live amphibian and reptile collection in the Vivarium. I am looking for an assistant who would thrive on supporting the conservation of these wonderful creatures and be committed to helping maintain the highest levels of their daily husbandry. If that sounds like you then please read on..

Manchester Museum does not take the keeping of animals in captivity lightly and is dedicated to ensuring its specimens are maintained in absolute optimum conditions. Having a caring attitude towards the animals and dedication to supporting the important contribution the museum is making to conservation through education and non-invasive research is essential. The position is well paid, offers excellent working conditions, and an opportunity to be part of exciting projects that are making a real difference to conservation. The permanent post, which will require the applicant to work a minimum of three days a week, also offers a significant amount of overtime on a yearly basis.

This is a rare opportunity to join our Vivarium Team, work to help conserve some of the rarest amphibians in the world, and develop your skills as a professional herpetologist.

We are now accepting applications for this specialist position.

The closing date for applications is the 27th February, 2020

Find out more about this exciting position and apply