The Plot Thickens in the Mystery of the Disappearing Frogs

January 27th, 2013 BY Eve Rickert | No Comments

Amphibian populations have been declining worldwide for decades, and scientists thought they had zeroed in on the culprit when they found a fungus called BD in many of the decimated populations.  But now BD has an alibi: a new study has found amphibian declines in areas where no BD is present.  The animals, which lived in Central American lowlands such as the biological reserve La Selva, were thought to be at low risk, so the unexpected 75 percent population reduction in has researchers particularly worried.  Now they hypothesize that it is higher temperatures and increased rainfall that are the true cause of the declines.  Steven M. Whitfield of Florida International University, who led the study, told National Geographic: “One of the reasons the amphibian crisis is so alarming is that species are going extinct so rapidly, even in areas where there is no human impact or [where the impact is] minimal.”

Source: Jonathan Franklin, Frog, Lizard Extinctions Caused by Climate, Not Fungus, Study Suggests.  National Geographic News, April 17, 2007.

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