Frog Extinctions as Indicators of Environmental Problems

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Tiny or large, smelly or poisonous, there are many kinds of frogs and are excellent indicators of the quality of the overall environment. To this day, scientists continue to find new varieties of frogs never been discovered all over the world. Recently, tiny frogs [its scientific name is Eleutherodactylus Iberia, smaller than a U.S. dime, were discovered under old leaves in Cuba in 1996 (“The World’s Smallest Frog”). See-through glass frogs were discovered in the Upper Nangaritza Basin in southeastern Ecuador which had previously been known to live only in one area of northeastern Peru ("Ugly" Salamander Among New Species Found in Ecuador”). An individual may think finding new frogs is a good indication that there are many of them in existence, but frogs around the world are facing a mass extinction. In most cases when I look around some ponds and creeks, I find that something is missing: frogs. One of the species near extinction is the Monteverde harlequin frog mainly found in the Costa Rican Mountains (“Why the Frogs Are Dying”). The Southern Yellow-legged frog and the Sierra Nevada Yellow legged frog populations have declined by 95-98 % even in highly protected areas such as the Yosemite Park (University of California - Berkeley). The massive world-wide decline of frogs can best be understood by their inability to keep pace with the current rate of global changes.

Frogs refers to “any of various largely aquatic smooth-skinned tailless leaping amphibians” (Merriam-Webster). Most of these frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits [fingers and toes], protruding eyes, and they are extraordinary jumpers with long powerful legs. They are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas because of their permeable skin [allowin...

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Tyler, Michael. J., Wassersug, R., and Smith, Benjamin, “How Frogs and Human Interact: Influences Beyond Habitat Destruction, Epidemics and Global Warming” n.d. Web. Sep 5 2011.

"Ugly" Salamander Among New Species Found in Ecuador.” National Geographic News Inc., Jun 2009. Web. Sep 5 2011. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090616-ecuador-newspecies-video-vin.html

University of California - Berkeley. “Dying Frogs Sign of a Biodiversity Crisis.” ScienceDaily, Aug17 2008. Web. Sep 7 2011. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812135654.htm

“Why the Frogs Are Dying.” The Daily Beast, Oct 2006. Web. Sep 5 2011. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2006/10/15/why-the-frogs-are-dying

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