What is the Amphibian Extinction Crisis?
Amphibians (e.g. frogs, salamanders) are the most widely threatened group of animals on earth, 1/3 of the world's 6,317 amphibian species are threatened with extinction.
Major Threats to Amphibians
According to Savethefrogs.com, there are six major threats facing frogs in the wild:
- habitat destruction
- infectious diseases
- pollution and pesticides
- climate change
- invasive species
- over-harvesting for the pet trade and for food
Chytridiomycosis is name of the disease caused by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), and is often referred to simple as "chytrid." This potentially lethal skin disease was first discovered in 1998 and has since been detected in at least 285 amphibian species in 36 countries from around the world. It is also thought to have been responsible for the extinction of at least 100 species.
An infected pet frog could introduce the disease to wild populations if it escapes or is set free, or even if water from its tank is released into the environment.
Individual animals infected with the chytrid fungus can be treated, but once it gets into wild populations it is impossible to prevent or eradicate the disease. Preventing the spread of chytrid is of the utmost importance in the fight to conserve amphibian populations in the wild.
Find out More about The Amphibian Extinction Crisis and Chytrid:
- Save the Frogs - loaded with information and ways you can help save the frogs.
- Frogs: the Thin Green Line - a Nature documentary, viewable online, about the pressures facing wild populations of frogs (and what the implications might be for our own well-being).
If you are considering a pet frog, I hope you will reconsider by giving serious thought to the negative impacts the trade in pet frogs is having on wild populations. Perhaps instead, build a frog-friendly pond and habitat in your yard, and let native frogs move in on their own. And please visit Save the Frogs to find out many ways you can help save wild populations of frogs.