ARKive’s media donors are often passionate about conservation and this is certainly true of Lydia Fucsko. Lydia has recently contributed a large number of fantastic amphibian images to ARKive and we were fascinated to hear about her work spreading the word about the plight of amphibians and what the public can do to help.
After undertaking a PhD project on amphibian conservation at Swinburne University, Lydia combined her passion for frogs with her skills as a children’s author and illustrator, educator, photographer, narrator and dramatist to find original and innovative ways of engaging the public with their amphibian neighbours.
Sadly, Australia is home to nearly 50 amphibian species listed as Vulnerable to Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, including some remarkable beauties like the northern corroboree frog and the red-crowned toadlet.
However, Lydia’s passion doesn’t just stop with those species already facing extinction. Pollution, environmental degradation, invasive plant and animal species and human disturbance all threaten amphibians across Australia and Lydia is keen to get this message out there before more species start to disappear.
Author and Educator Extraordinaire!
Lydia’s upcoming children’s book “My life is in the Toilet” focuses on the plight of species like the green tree frog which is often forced to find rather unusual alternative accommodation after water mismanagement, pollution and habitat loss have left it with nowhere else to go. By utilising photography in new and ingenious ways, merging science and art, capitalising on the universal appeal of adorable amphibians and incorporating terrific ‘toilet humour’, Lydia hopes to inspire the next generation about the need to protect precious wetland habitat and encourage direct engagement with the environment. Interested publishers can view Lydia’s winning book pitch here.
You can learn more about Lydia’s work and hear the narration of the Story of Tiddalik, the Water Holding Frog, by visiting her webpage and YouTube channel. To help engage children with the amphibian cause Lydia has also recently created some humorous new videos of talking frogs discussing topics like the environment, some rather interesting eating habits and the Earth Day Network’s ‘Face of Climate Change’ campaign – make sure you check them out! You can also hear ‘FrogMan’ Professor Mike Tyler’s introduction to Lydia’s work.
Publishers, authors, filmmakers, organisations or individuals wanting to collaborate on projects can contact Lydia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, why not check out Lydia’s new images on ARKive.
Claire Lewis, ARKive Media Researcher