Nordic Frogday 2007 in Copenhagen
At 10am was the Nordic Frogday 2007 starting in the Royal Veterinairian University in Copenhagen, Saturday 10th of November. It was arranged by the dannish frog group with Søren Werther in the lead. The Dannish Frog Group is a part of the Nordic Herpetologic Society (Nordisk Herpetologisk Førening) and even if the name says "Nordic" it seems to mostly be located within Denmark. We arrived about 20 minutes before it was opening but we where let in immidently, which was very nice since I had a group of 6 "Panguanas" that I was going to put on my salestable. At this frogday there where mostly people from Denmark but also quite alot from Sweden and a few from Norway, Finland and Netherlands. The bad thing for people that isn't speaking Swedish or Dannish is that it can be a bit difficult to understand the hearings since some of the hearings is held in some of the nordic languages, but they always have hearings in english also.
During the first part of the day there where diffrent workshops about how you can solve certain problems.
Flemming Andersen (Springhalen.dk) was holding a workshop where he where learning people how to breed diffrent critters for feeding our loved animals with.
Peter Søgaard was holding a workshop about plants and how you can attatch them to branches and still make them survive. He had some very interesting plants there, including some tropical ferns and bromeliads, so it was intersting to look at.
Rain and misting and also lighting was demonstrated by Søren Werther. he had a vivarium with all equipment up and running and was showing people what to think about when they where putting together a rainsystem and when they are buying lighting for their vivariums.
A workshop where you could learn how to create artificial vivarium backgrounds where held by Jan Wigell. This was how to create nice looking backgrounds with help of Knauf plastic, styroplast pieces and xaxim granulates or cocos soil. This Knauf plastic is normally used to make bathrooms waterproof, but since this product isn't certified in Sweden it's only available in Denmark and Germany. You can normally find it at Bauhaus there.
Lighting and watering systems Workshop about vivarium plants
Creating your own vivarium backgrounds
The glass drilling workshop The automation workshop
Flemming selling frog-candy (fruitflies)
There where also a very interesting workshop that showed how it was possible to manage your vivariums with automatical equipment. It looked very impressive with lots of possibilitys using a small industry computer system made for automation in industry. It didn't look so easy though to program the computer for the first time, even if the programming is made with a special little program that is built to make it as simple as it can be. The good thing is that this small computer programs only has to be made once and then you have it all up and running. Small changes shouldn't be so hard to make once you learned this. It seemed that the only thing that is setting limits with this equipment is your imagination and your wallet. I have seen this type of systems in action in private "frog cellars" in Germany and it is very impressive what you can do with these systems.
A couple of people had sales-tables. Examples of what you could find at these tables where: Lots of Bromeliads, equipment for frog-vivariums like: Xaxim, Epiweb, vitamins, lighting and so on. A few people where also selling frogs. Ex. Tinctorius (diffrent morphs), adult-sized leucomelas, pumilio, lamasi "panguana", red ventrimaculatus, vittatus and probably some more that I never noticed.
All kinds of equipment for making a nice frog vivarium
Dendrobates.dk selling all kinds of bromeliads
After the workshops was it time for a dannish lunch with some typical dannish sandwiches that was tasting very good. There where lots of diffrent kinds of sandwiches and the only problem with them was that there where so many diffrent kinds to choose among and it was only 3 sandwiches included in the price. This wasn't a problem though since it wouldn't be able for me at least to eat more than 3 sandwiches, but they tasted for sure as good as they where looking!
Peter Søgaard - Ecuador/Peru
First out was Peter Søgaard with his hearing of Ecuador and Peru. He was showing photos of a trip from Ecuador and into Peru to the Tarapoto area.
In 2005 did Peter hold a hearing about his work with O. sylvaticus in western Ecuador. It felt like he did continue his travel from where he stoped last time. It started out in westen Ecuador where he was showing us photos of sylvaticus and the nature there. He where then continuing over the Andes and into the south eastern parts agains the Peruvian border where he was showing us photos of for example the true Duellmani. He had amazing photos along the way with lots of animals and plants, waterfalls and wonderful views especially from up in the mountains. After this he continued into Peru and to the Tarapoto area with photos of habitats and frogs like variabilis, imitator morphs and fantasticus morphs. He also showed us photos of how difficult it sometimes can be to travel in this area due to earth slides and the very bad roads that often rains in part during the rain season. I must say he had made a very good job when he selected his photos for his hearing.
Eric Weavers - Brazil and French Guyana / Surinam and Azureus
After the first hearing it was time for Eric Weavers to hold his 2 part hearing. It was first a mixed travel photo show where he where showing slides from his travels in Brazil, French Guyana and Surinam. It was not in any certain order but you could get a quite good understanding of the photos anyway since he where talking about every photo. I liked his photos from Brazil alot where he where going into the jungle with boat and where there were both photos of the native people and nature and diffrent animals.
After this he showed some photos of animals that he had kept long time ago in vivariums, and he also told that now he only keep several diffrent kinds breeding groups of Azureus.
Then it was time for a photo session with the story of when he went to Surinam for looking at Azureus. It was a very interesting hearing and he showed alot of the enviromental problems for Azureus and also told alot about the poor country Surinam. He was also amazed over the fact that he went by plane far south into a very poor area of Surinam where the people mostly never had even seen a city, and when he was leaving the plane there was a native indian that welcomed him in dutch. The explaination to this is that Surinam was a Dutch Colony. The hearing was really informative and we understood how small the spot that Azureus lives at is in the wild and how little it takes to destroy the whole habitat of these amazing animals.
Arne Schiøtz - At Hyperolius hunt through Africa
75 years old Arne Schiøtz was starting out with telling about when he fist went to Africa on his first hyperolius hunts. His main focus was at Congo most of the time. He didn't have any photos from this time but he was a very good teller so the story he told wasn't boring at all. He told us from the first time when he arrived to Africa and when he started out with the hyperolis collection. They where among the first white people that the natives saw at that time when they arrived and he told us about the difficulties before they even could get into the area where they where starting their job. He was for example telling that they where at a party one day when they arrived to the area, but that he was really restless since when it started to get dark he could hear the frogs call out in the darkness. Every one of us who has been into a new area hearing frogs know that feeling. Everything was mixed with storys about small incidents and funny parts that maked us all laugh in the audience.
Arne showed for example a map of africa and all the spots they had collected frogs in was marked with a red X. I was counting it to 84 spots in a band over whole tropical Africa, from east to west. They have been at each part at least one time but often more and it wasn't single day trips. Often was the travel to the diffrents spots taking many days and sometimes even weeks. It's a very impressive collection of animals and I guess this has been necesary to understand this complex frogs.
At the second part it Arne started to show photos from one of his last trips. After what I understood it was a boat trip on a river and the trip was about 1200km. He showed us photos from the trip in 2005 and it looked like a hard travel to go with that kind of boat even if they where using modern boat engines. He also showed photos from diffrent kinds and color morphs of hyperolius and also some unknown frogs. He was excusing that the colors where a bit bluish since it was DIA and 35mm film that was digitalized later on, but the photos was still amazing. I took some photos from when he was showing these slides so have a look at them in the photo album.
Everyone was impressed by this mans knowledge and for what he have done for the hyperolius frogs. It is an honor to have heard him sharing his knowledge.
After this hearing we did end the Nordic Frogday 2007. Most people there had a wonderful time and I must say that this is something for the Swedish Dendrobatid Society has to work hard to match when they hold the Nordic Frogday 2008 during the autumn next year. I am sure they will do their best and I can really recomend people to visit these Nordic Frogdays.
Nordic Frogday 2007
Photos from 10th of November in Copenhagen 2007
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Photos and Article: Dennis Nilsson 2007