Monday, June 4, 2012

Endangered Species of the Week–Frogs Leap Back into the Spotlight

Back in February, we talked about frogs for the Leap Day post.  As stated in that post, “One-third of all frog species are in danger of extinction due to a fungus commonly called the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).  Habitat loss is an even biggerPanamaian Golden Frog problem for frogs and other amphibians.  Often, frogs are viewed as the “canary in a coalmine” when it comes to the health of various ecosystems.  When we start losing frogs, scientists recommend that we really start paying attention.”  One of the most endangered frogs is the Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki) (photo credit Smithsonian CBC), which has been extinct in the wild since 2007.  Now there’s a little ray of hope shining from the Smithsonian’s Amphibian Conservation Center at the National Zoo.   As the zoo reported last week, scientists may have developed a probiotic that could protect them from the chytrid fungus.  To learn more about this new, positive development in amphibian conservation, check out this report from the Today Show.

What can you do to help in frog conservation?  Consider these ideas:

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