Mississippi gopher frogs are finger snacks for forest predators and “that’s the nature of the business if you’re an amphibian.” So says biologist Mike Sisson in an Associated Press report about the relatively good summer that the nearly-extinct gopher frogs have had in Harrison County, Mississippi. I didn’t know that this species’ call sounds like someone snoring. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Here’s the story, and here’s an excerpt:
This year, for a change, nature gave a bit of a break to one of the nation’s most endangered species.
The frogs breed only in ponds so shallow they dry up in summer. Hot, dry springs have stranded tadpoles every year since 1998, when 161 froglets hopped out of Glen’s Pond in coastal Harrison County, Miss.
Scientists believe fewer than 100 mature adults live in the wild. Five zoos — in New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Miami and Omaha, Neb. — have another 75 frogs.
“Our efforts have managed to stave off likely extinction but there’s a long way to go,” said Joe Pechmann, an associate professor of biology at Western Carolina University who has studied the frogs since 2002.