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


(Credit: Purdue University photo/Andrew DeWoody)

Frogs just can’t catch a break. First there was pollution, then amphibian chytrid fungus, then global warming. And now: road kill.  

A Purdue University inventory of road kill during a 17-month period on a particular Indiana road tallies the body count:

  • 79 opossums, the most common mammal;
  • 36 chimney swifts, most common bird;
  • 35 common garter snakes, most common reptile;
  • 43 raccoons;
  • 4 white-tailed deer;
  • 9,300 amphibians

This is according to a new, Science Daily news release that says 95 percent of the road kill was frogs and toads and salamanders. Here’s an excerpt:

The dead included 142 road-killed eastern tiger salamanders, a finding DeWoody said was troubling.

“The absolute number might not look that large, but most of these individuals were mature, up to 10 years old,” DeWoody said. “Many of them were gravid, or females bearing eggs on an annual trip to breeding grounds where they often lay 500 to 1,000 eggs. This could make a potentially big difference for the population.”