Tuesday, March 17, 2009
RACE TO SAVE THE FROGS
Jennifer S. Holland (senior writer) and Joel Sartore (photographer) have put together a haunting yet hopeful feature for the April issue of National Geographic about the vanishing frog population that is an absolute must-read.
If you remember from previous posts, not only have habitat loss, climate change and pollution delivered fatal blows to many amphibians, but the fungal infection known commonly as chytrid has devastated frog populations worldwide.
From the article:
Why care about frogs? "I could give you a thousand reasons," says herpetologist Luis Coloma. Because their skin acts not only as a protective barrier but also as a lung and kidney, they can provide and early warning of pollutants. Their insect prey carries human pathogens, so frogs are an ally against disease. They serve as food for snakes, birds, even humans, playing a key role in both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. "There are places where the biomass of amphibians was once higher than all other vertebrates combined," says University of California, Berkeley, biologist David Wake. "How can you take that out of the ecosystem without changing it in a major way? There will be ecological consequences that we haven't yet grasped."
Find the full article and incredible photographs online here.
(Note: The frog pictured in this post is not from Nat Geo. He is my neighbor.)