Photo from AmphibiaWeb

Mongabay delivers some great news for scientists’ efforts to avert amphibian species extinctions. The yellow Kihansi spray toad of Tanzania has been in great danger of extinction because of the construction of a dam and the chytrid fungus. This new story about great work by the Bronx Zoo reports that there is a critical mass that is being bred (captive breeding) for eventual reintroduction to the wild. Mongabay did a detailed story on the species’ problems in Tanzania back a couple of years ago. Here’s an excerpt from the more recent Mongabay story:

Still while it looks increasingly likely that the Kihansi spray toad has escaped its brush with extinction, amphibians are still in big trouble worldwide. According to the recent Global Amphibian Assessment, about a third of amphibians are threatened with extinction. Pollution, the introduction of alien species, habitat destruction, over-collection, climate change, and the emergence of the pathogenic chytrid fungus have driven more than 170 species to extinction over the past two decades.In an effort to save the most at-risk species, last year saw the launch of the Amphibian Ark, an initiative by zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens to establish captive populations for 500 species.

 

Good perspective to spur people into action on the amphibian crisis from the scientists of a new study, as reported in ScienceDaily:

“An ancient organism, which has survived past extinctions, is telling us that something is wrong right now. We humans may be doing fine right now, but they are doing poorly. The question, really, is whether we’ll listen before it’s too late.”

- Vance T. Vredenburg, assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University

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