Environmental Changes Wiped Out 170 Amphibian Species Over Past 20 years

Frogs Fading Into Silence

By Stephen Leahy

The extinction of amphibians in Latin America has reached alarming proportions: 209 species in Colombia and 198 in Mexico alone are in danger of disappearing forever

Mar 5 (Tierramérica) – Frogs and other amphibians are rapidly becoming extinct around the world and in Latin American countries in particular. In the Caribbean as many as 80 percent of these species are endangered, while in Colombia there are 209 and in Mexico 198 amphibians may soon disappear.

Environmental degradation along with habitat loss, ultraviolet radiation, disease and climate change are all factors involved in these unprecedented losses.

Copyright 2004 Renate Leahy

At least 43 percent of amphibians are in decline worldwide. An estimated 170 frogs, toads and salamanders may already have become extinct in the past two decades.

“Amphibians are telling us that there is something wrong with our ecosystems,” says Robin Moore, amphibian conservation officer with Conservation International (CI), a U.S.-based international non-governmental organization.

Amphibians have very porous skins, which seems to make them more vulnerable to environmental changes than mammals, birds and reptiles. Some scientists consider them as bellwether animals for the Earth’s health.

According to the Global Amphibian Assessment, which examined the status of the nearly 6,000 known amphibians, the highest levels of threat are found in the Caribbean, where more than 80 percent are threatened in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica, and a staggering 92 percent in Haiti.

“There are huge numbers of amphibians that we don’t even know about yet,” Moore told Tierramérica.

To read rest of story click on Frogs Fading Into Silence

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