“They are indicating to us that there is a problem, and if we don’t take care of the problem, it’s going to move up to our level.”  That’s what an amphibian zoo keeper said Monday in a very informative, nearly hour long radio interview about the amphibian crisis on WCPN radio in Cleveland. I typed below a few excerpts from the interview with husband and wife amphibian experts Kathy Krynak, who manages the amphibian exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and Tim Krynak, naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks: 

“One of the biggest (contributors to the mass extinction) is habitat loss (but) within the last ten years we have a new disease that’s entered the arena — that’s the chytrid fungus. It lives on amphibian skin, and amphibians basically breathe through their skin — and once this happens, they suffocate to death.” – Tim Krynak

Climate change is actually the biggest factor across the board globally in the amphibian declines, so anything that you can do to be a little greener, like Kermit says, in your own lives will help amphibians and the planet in general.” – Kathy Krynak

“Amphibians that live in mountain regions and particularly the humid tropics are having a really hard time because as you increase the elevation, climate change is much more dramatic there. The nighttime temperatures in the areas where chytrid thrives are getting warmer so its 24 hours a day of a chytrid hotbed in the humid tropics.” – Kathy

“They are the cold and slimy canaries in the coal mine. Since they have such sensitive skins and they breathe and they drink right through their skins, changes in their environment affect them very quickly.  They are our best vertebrate bio indicators species so they are indicating to us that there is a problem and, if we don’t take care of the problem, it’s going to move up to our level.”