Frogs in Yosemite going extinct – 02/18/2006

  • November 23, 2013 at 1:38 am #1132

    MSNBC News:
    MSNBC Home » U.S. News » Environment

    Frog species in Yosemite on its last legs
    Fungus, trout and warming are wiping out mountain yellow-legged frog
    This mountain yellow-legged frog was photographed at a lake in the
    John Muir Wilderness in 2002. A fungus is decimating the species and
    experts see little they can do to help.

    Updated: 9:29 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2006
    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – The mountain yellow-legged frog has
    survived for thousands of years in lakes and streams carved by
    glaciers, living up to nine months under snow and ice and then
    emerging to issue its raspy chorus across the Sierra Nevada range.

    But the frog’s call is going silent as a mysterious fungus pushes it
    toward extinction.

    “It’s very dramatic,” said Yosemite biologist Lara Rachowicz. “One
    year, you visit a lake and the population will seem fine. The next
    year you go back, you see a lot of dead frogs scattered along the
    bottom of the pond. In a couple years the population is gone.”

    The chytrid fungus, linked to the extinction of amphibians from
    Australia to Costa Rica, grows on frog skin, making it hard to use
    their pores and regulate water intake. The frogs die of thirst in the
    water, Rachowicz said.

    Despite the threat of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    lacks funds to make the frog an endangered species. Federal officials
    also questioned what good it would do, because the fungus isn’t
    coming from agriculture or development that can be curbed.

    “It’s an act-of-God type thing,” said Harry McQuillen, chief of the
    endangered species recovery branch of the agency’s Sacramento
    office. “How do you deal with something that seems overwhelmingly out
    of your control?”

    ‘Mass extinction in the making’
    The fungus is frightening because it kills frogs quickly even in
    untouched habitats, scientists said.

    “It’s a mass extinction in the making,” said J. Alan Pounds, who
    wrote an article in the journal Nature linking the fungus to global
    warming. His research offers the first solid clue to an international
    scientific mystery — the disappearance of as many as 112 amphibian
    species since 1980.

    U.S. biologists will look at breeding the critters in captivity,
    which has not been done successfully. They may also re-establish
    frogs in areas where they’ve disappeared, and remove more nonnative
    trout from some high Sierra lakes. Trout removal has had promising
    results in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, but could prove unpopular with

    “Recreational fishing is a long-standing, valid activity in the park,
    and we recognize that,” said Steve Thompson, Yosemite’s lead wildlife
    biologist. “But the park has a dual mission, to protect resources and
    provide for their enjoyment. If you don’t protect the resources,
    it’ll prevent the enjoyment.”


    “Act of God type-thing” comment…B.S! Try act of “CT’s!”

    Amphibious creatures everywhere are often the first to show the
    effects of the Chems and Global Warming. Many other “frog”
    communities in various states, including Arizona, are dying in
    unprecedented numbers.

The forum ‘Strange Animal Deaths’ is closed to new topics and replies.