World’s amphibians face emerging threats as extinction looms

The world’s frogs, salamanders, newts, and other amphibians are in serious trouble, according to a new study.

A new study published in Nature found that 41% of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction and that the second Global Amphibian Assessment says the rate of decline is accelerating.

The study, which was led by Dr. Simon Stuart of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, analyzed data on the conservation status of all 8,011 known amphibian species.

The study found that 33% of species are near threatened, and 23% are data deficient. Only 3% of species are classified as least concern.

The study said that the loss of habitat from the expansion of farming and ranching is the single biggest threat but a growing number of amphibian species are being pushed to the brink by novel diseases and climate change.

The study also found that the number of amphibian species that have gone extinct since 1980 has tripled compared to the previous century.

The study’s authors identified a number of factors that are contributing to the decline of amphibians, including habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, pollution, and invasive species.

 A researcher holds a Coqui Guajon or Rock Frog (Eleutherodactylus cooki) at a tropical forest in Patillas, Puerto Rico on March 21, 2013. A study published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in the journal Nature has found that amphibians are the world’s most threatened group of vertebrate species

They also found that amphibians are particularly vulnerable to emerging threats such as chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that has killed millions of amphibians worldwide.

The study’s findings are a stark reminder of the plight of amphibians. These unique and fascinating creatures play an important role in ecosystems around the world, and their decline is a major threat to biodiversity.

The study’s authors call for urgent action to protect amphibians. They recommend a number of measures, including:

  • Protecting and restoring amphibian habitat
  • Reducing pollution
  • Controlling invasive species
  • Developing and implementing conservation strategies for threatened species

They also call for increased research on amphibian biology and ecology, and on the development of new technologies to protect amphibians from emerging threats.

The study is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the conservation status of amphibians and the threats they face. It is essential reading for anyone interested in amphibian conservation or biodiversity.

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