Tag: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Biodiversity: Amphibians ‘not evolving fast enough’

New study finds wide array of causes for sudden extinction wave

The Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) is a critically endangered toad which is endemic to Panama. PHOTO BY BRIAN GRATWICKE VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The alarming global decline of amphibian species is probably caused by a number of factors rather than any single cause. Natural factors include competition, predation, reproduction and disease.

Man-made factors include habitat destruction, environmental contamination, invasive species and climate change, according to an international team of researchers who recently published findings from a comprehensive amphibian study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

“An enormous rate of change has occurred in the last 100 years, and amphibians are not evolving fast enough to keep up with it,” said Andrew Blaustein, a professor of zoology at Oregon State University and an international leader in the study of amphibian declines. “We’re now realizing that it’s not just one thing, it’s a whole range of things. With a permeable skin and exposure to both aquatic and terrestrial problems, amphibians face a double whammy,” he said. “Because of this, mammals, fish and birds have not experienced population impacts as severely as amphibians – at least, not yet.” Continue reading “Biodiversity: Amphibians ‘not evolving fast enough’”

Advertisements