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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Say Goodbye to the Amphibians

What is happening to amphibians is the future for us all. Environmental destruction, loss of habitat, climate change, and new and deadly diseases, all leading to extinction. Amphibians world wide seem to be dying from a fungus originating from South Africa.

“Probably this fungal outbreak worldwide is the product of human transport worldwide,” said Hollingsworth, noting the use of frogs in clinical trials. “The original paradigm was that frog extinction was associated with the destruction of the forest and changing climate.”

An 80 percent loss in species diversity has been documented in the tropics because of Chytrid fungus, he said. “Even in a pristine habitat, outbreak of a disease can wipe out an entire class of animals in a decade.”

Though not seen as much in San Diego County, around the world parasites and pesticides are believed to be causing severe deformities in frogs....

According to the journal article, 1,856 (about one-third) of the world's 5,743 amphibian species are facing demise.

“Just to watch the extinction of a whole class of animals and not learn what the factors causing it are would be irresponsible,” Hollingsworth said. “Who's the next class? The birds?”




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