Frogs!

It's been a while since I've had an interesting (or at least I think
they are) animal posting.  Today's Post had a very intersting story on the highly endangered Golden Frog of Panama.  The story details how a hotel in Panama has basically become an endangered species sanctuary for this frog, which is beloved in Panama. 

“Thus is the lot of Panama's — and perhaps the world's — most unusual
hotel VIPs, the darling little Panamanian golden frogs of El Valle de
Anton. The frogs, considered so lucky in Panama that their images
appear on lottery tickets, are in big trouble. They're on the run from
a vicious fungus that has already wiped out as many as 120 species of
amphibians in Central America.”

Frogs all over the
Americas are dying out from a fungus that attacks their skin.  Amphibians breathe through their
skin, so the fungus basically causes them to suffocate.  Over 120 species of frogs in Central America have already gone extinct.  I've been following this story for a while, as red-eyed tree frogs are a big deal in our household (as can clearly be evidenced by David's 6th birthday cake). 

This past winter, Quirks and Quarks had a disturbing story on this growing problem.  Here's an NSF press release detailing the extent of the problem.  I recall that one scientist suggested that Amphibians could potentially be the first complete Class of animals to go extinct since the dinosaurs.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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