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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Amphibians are threatened with extinction worldwide


Amphibians Are Threatened With Extinction Worldwide...

Frogs and their relatives are in deep trouble. According to a new study published in the journal Science, one-third of the world's amphibians are declining due to disease, climate change, and habitat loss. Of the 5,743 known species, 1,856 are considered globally threatened in the wild. Up to 168 may be extinct.

Warming temperatures may be heating many cooler species out of house and home. Development, such as that facing the red-legged frog in California, is destroying the ponds and other wetlands amphibians depend on. Meanwhile, the fungal disease chitridiomycosis, which attacks skin, appears to be responsible for many additional declines.

Thin-skinned amphibians readily absorb moisture, air, and pollutants from both land and water. For this reason, they are considered barometers of environmental health, the proverbial canaries in the global coal mine. Scientists say their precipitous decline, tracked by more than 500 scientists participating in the Global Amphibian Assessment project, bodes ill for the future of the planet

Acknowledgements: California Academy of Sciences

Endangered mountain chicken frog

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