With the impending nuptials of Great Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, my thoughts recently turned to “Romeo the Frog.” Who is Romeo the Frog you may ask? He is a Sehuencas Water Frog who has had such a hard time finding love — unlike Prince Harry — that he finds himself on the Endangered Species List. (Well, that’s not the only reason, but you get the idea.)
Fortunately, Romeo the Frog has scientist Arturo Muñoz of Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) in his corner. (Think “The Bachelor’s” Chris Harrison, only working towards his Ph.D. in veterinary science.) Prior to Valentine’s Day, the scientist turned matchmaker created a Match.com profile for his amphibian alter ego, hoping to raise $15,000 to fund an expedition that would allow Romeo to find his Juliet. The profile read, in part: “I’m Romeo. I’m a Sehuencas (pronounced “say-when-cuss”) Water Frog and, not to start this off super heavy or anything, but I’m literally the last of my species. I know — intense stuff. But that’s why I’m on here — in hopes of finding my perfect match so we can save our own kind (no pressure ;-)).”
Romeo describes himself as stocky, about 6.22 centimeters tall, definitely interested in having children, never been married and a moderate drinker. For fun, not surprisingly, “leg days at the gym” are among his favorite leisure-time activities.
“I’m a pretty simple guy,” the profile continues. “I tend to keep to myself and have the best nights just chilling at home, maybe binge-watching the waters around me. As for who I’m looking for, I’m not picky. I just need another Sehuencas like myself. Otherwise, my entire existence as we know it is over (no big deal). So, if you’re willing to help an old Romeo find his one and only Juliet, donate to my cause so we can get out there and start the search for my one, true match!”
Proving once again that love conquers all, people from around the globe responded, raising $25,000 to send expeditions into the field where Sehuencas Water Frogs were once common, and to similar habitats where biologists have not had a chance to look before in hopes of finding a mate for Romeo, the last-known individual of his species. Muñoz, a GWC associate conservation scientist and founder of the Bolivian Amphibian Initiative, said he and his colleagues were “overwhelmed” by the public’s support. “Romeo is an ambassador for all of the frog species in his genus that are teetering on the edge of extinction,” he said. “Thanks to the help of everyone that donated, we hope that our next big announcement will be that we found Romeo his Juliet and established a conservation breeding program to save his species from extinction.”
Let’s hope this love story — like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — has a happy ending!
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Speaking of happy endings, after years of hard work to address a long-term challenge, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently unveiled a new dues schedule designed to create a sustainable platform for the future of the association. The dues restructuring proposal, approved by the NPMA Board of Directors in March, was developed by a 15-member Blue Ribbon Task Force comprised of representatives of all stakeholders, including large and small pest control companies, as well as joint and standard states and large joint state affiliates. “We’ve been diligent in our work, conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that NPMA’s future will continue to be bright,” said Bobby Jenkins, chairman of the Task Force. While nobody likes change and some may question specific elements of the plan, there’s no questioning the value of NPMA membership in my mind. The association features a talented staff who works tirelessly to protect the interests of the pest management industry, while providing a wide range of valuable services to its members.
The author is publisher of PCT and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.