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Declining Frog Species Image 3
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Declining Frog Species (Image 3)

July 25, 2012
A horned marsupial frog (Gastrotheca cornuta, family Hemiphractidae). This photo was taken in 2002 near El Cope, Panama, two years before the chytrid fungus outbreak. First noted when the golden toad and about half of the frog species disappeared in Monteverde reserve in Costa Rica in 1987, the killer fungus has been spreading eastward through the Central America highlands and also through a large portion of the Andes (likely from a separate introduction) ever since. Researchers like Andrew J. Crawford, an associate professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of the Andes, Columbia, and a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, are studying the decline in frog populations in parts of South America. You can read more about the deadly chytrid fungus in the National Science Foundation press release "Frog Killer Caught in the Act." Credit: Andrew J. Crawford, Universidad de los Andes