Southern Cricket Frog Population Declining; Gates Foundation Gives $8 Million to Motherhood Initiative; Bouncing Bulldogs Championship
North Carolina’s Southern Cricket Frog population is on the decline.
Jonathan Perry Micancin, recent Ph.D. graduate from UNC’s Biology Department, has been researching the Northern Cricket Frog and the Southern Cricket Frog. Both species inhabit North Carolina’s upper Coastal Plain.
After comparing data from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences recorded in the 1960s, the Southern Cricket Frog species no longer exists between the Chowan and Cape Fear Rivers, but the Northern Cricket Frog holds a steady presence in the area.
Micancin does not have a definite reason for the disappearance. Possibilities include the Northern Cricket Frog overtaking the area, human activity, and climate change.
The decreasing number of Southern Cricket Frogs reflects a nationwide trend in reduced populations of amphibians, which could have a significant impact on the food chain.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave a five-year, $8 million grant to support the President’s Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative in Malawi.
The grant will go towards many initiatives in Malawi. Among them, UNC will work to create model maternity homes, built to educate pregnant women and new mothers about health and services.
Money will also support training of newborn and maternal health care providers and institution of the first residency program for obstetricians and gynecologists in Malawi.
Malawi’s high infant and maternal mortality rates prompted UNC to provide aid to the country. UNC Project-Malawi unites the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases with Malawi Ministry of Health to enhance the health the Malawi people. Initially created twenty years ago to alleviate Malawai’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, the program now encompasses on a broad array of health concerns including malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, and emergency obstetrics
UNC currently has seven faculty members stationed in Malawi and Zambia, making UNC the largest global OB-GYN provider in the United States.
On July 8, Chapel Hill’s Bouncing Bulldogs Jump Rope Team traveled to the University of Central Florida to compete in the Third Annual World Jump Rope Championships and Camp.
14 countries and 15 states were represented in the 18 different events, ranging from speed to freestyle to Double Dutch. The Bouncing Bulldogs won a total of 301 medals between the Junior and Senior divisions.
Athletes 14 years or younger competed in the Junior World Championship division. Athletes of any age exhibited their talents in the Senior World Championship division. The Bouncing Bulldogs team is compromised of jumpers ranging ages 5 to 26. Many of the younger jumpers won awards above older competitors.
Coach Ray Frederick feels that this year’s team has performed the best he has ever seen in his 29 years of coaching.