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Latest Decline in amphibian populations Stories

2011-04-25 16:40:38

Amphibian declines around the world have forced many species to the brink of extinction, are much more complex than realized and have multiple causes that are still not fully understood, researchers conclude in a new report. The search for a single causative factor is often missing the larger picture, they said, and approaches to address the crisis may fail if they don't consider the totality of causes "“ or could even make things worse. No one issue can explain all of the population...

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2010-11-17 14:00:00

As frogs around the world continue to disappear"”many killed by a rapidly spreading disease called chytridiomycosis, which attacks the skin cells of amphibians"”one critically endangered species has received an encouraging boost. Although the La Loma tree frog, Hyloscirtus colymba, is notoriously difficult to care for in captivity, the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project is the first to successfully breed this species. "We are some of the first researchers to attempt...

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2010-05-24 08:26:19

In nature, ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is not the amphibian killer scientists once suspected. Naturally occurring murky water and females who choose to lay their eggs in the shade keep embryos of one of the nation's most UV-sensitive amphibian species out of harm's way most of the time, new research shows. Less than 2 percent of the embryos of the long-toed salamander received lethal doses of UV across 22 breeding sites across nearly 8 square miles (20 square kilometers) in Washington...

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2010-05-11 08:10:00

Scientists have unraveled the dynamics of a deadly disease that is wiping out amphibian populations across the globe. New findings, published May 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that infection intensity -- the severity of the disease among individuals -- determines whether frog populations will survive or succumb to an amphibian fungal disease called Chytridiomycosis. The research identifies a dangerous tipping point in infection intensity, beyond which...

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2010-03-01 15:39:37

Challenges evidence that global warming was the cause Scientists broadly agree that global warming may threaten the survival of many plant and animal species; but global warming did not kill the Monteverde golden toad, an often cited example of climate-triggered extinction, says a new study. The toad vanished from Costa Rica's Pacific coastal-mountain cloud forest in the late 1980s, the apparent victim of a pathogen outbreak that has wiped out dozens of other amphibians in the Americas. Many...

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2010-03-01 15:35:32

Atrazine, one of the world's most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists. The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially "dead" because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley's Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology. "These male frogs are missing testosterone...

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2010-01-25 07:33:01

Midwife toads that live in the mountains are highly likely to die from a serious fungal infection, called chytridiomycosis, whereas their infected relatives in the lowlands are not, according to new research published Jan. 24 in Ecology Letters. The authors of the study, from Imperial College London, the Zoological Society of London and the BiodivERsA project RACE, say their findings suggest conservationists may be able to limit the impact of the disease in the mountains by ensuring tourists...

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2009-11-20 07:40:00

Most countries throughout the world participate in the $40-million-per-year culinary trade of frog legs in some way, with 75 percent of frog legs consumed in France, Belgium and the United States. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and colleagues have found that this trade is a potential carrier of pathogens deadly to amphibians. The team's findings are published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology, Thursday, Nov. 19. Amphibians are rapidly declining worldwide. More than...

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2009-09-23 07:08:03

Sometimes to see something properly, you have to stand farther back. This is true of Chuck Close portraits where a patchwork of many small faces changes into one giant face as you back away. It may also be true of the frogs of Central America, where the pattern of extinctions emerges clearly only at a certain spatial scale. Everyone knows that frogs are in trouble and that some species have disappeared, but a recent analysis of Central American frog surveys shows the situation is worse than...

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2009-08-27 06:45:00

The world's leading amphibian experts have come together and for the first time identified two major conservation initiatives to protect the amphibians of the world from becoming extinct. The new coalition of organizations, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, will work together on scientific research and fund-raising to focus on containing the spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus and protecting the only amphibian habitats that contain amphibians that are not found anywhere else in the world....


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'