Saturday, December 15, 2007

Frogs and Amphibians getting closer to extinction

Scientists at the Zoological Society of San Diego have taken special note of the serious decline in the population of frogs and other amphibians in the last 30 or so years. Amphibians are often studied by scientists in order to gage environmental wellness because they are so sensitive to environmental changes. Amphibians can exist on both land and in the water and therefore they experience changes in both of these environments. However, scientists are becoming increasingly concerned because over 120 species of amphibians have now become extinct. We can guess at the main reasons for this decline in amphibian population. Scientists believe that changes in climate, pollution and diminishing habitats are the main threats to these creatures. The scientists at San Diego also point out that chytrid infections, caused by fungus can have a fatal affect on frogs. Frogs need the ability to respire through their skin and this disease affects this ability. One way to help the frog and amphibian populations is to create conservation programs for various species. This is being done by many concerned groups including the scientists at the San Diego Zoo. San Diego provided information about all of these topics in an article published by the Zoological Society of San Diego on their website. This article is entitled "A World without Frogs?". I personally believe that if we don't do everything we can to preserve the amphibian population we will be loosing a very valuable scientific resource. Not to mention, the devastating effects this could have on the "circle of life" as a whole. As previously stated, frogs provide us with very valuable information when it comes to the current health of the environment. Maybe if we can continue to study frogs and other creatures like them we can gain a better understanding of how to help the entire planet, not just one area, group, or species.