Frogs, Toads & Salamanders Vanishing Fast

The sudden decline of boreal toad populations in Colorado during the past couple of decades took state researchers by surprise, but it turns out that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Globally, the loss of amphibian specieshas sent shock waves rippling through aquatic ecosystems and there’s no sign the decline is slowing down, according to U.S. Geological Survey scientists, who recently set out to measure amphibian losses in the United States.

They found that even species of amphibians presumed to be relatively stable and widespread are declining. And these declines are occurring in amphibian populations everywhere, from the swamps in Louisiana and Florida to the high mountains of the Sierras and the Rockies and extending even into protected areas. At the current rate of decline, amphibians could disappear from half their existing habitats in the next 20 years. In all, scientists analyzed nine years of data from 34 sites spanning 48 species. The analysis did not evaluate causes of declines.

“This is the culmination of an incredible sampling effort and cutting-edge analysis pioneered by the USGS, but it is very bad news for amphibians,” said Brian Gratwicke, amphibian conservation biologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. “Now, more than ever, we need to confront amphibian declines in the U.S. and take actions to conserve our incredible frog and salamander biodiversity.”

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Frogs, Toads & Salamanders Vanishing Fast

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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