PBS.org aired a program called “Frogs: The Thin Green Line” that discussed the disappearance of frogs on the planet. Frogs have been an important part of the world’s ecosystems for over 250 million years. These creatures have evolved in some of the most amazing creatures to walk the earth and yet their amazingly adaptable survival tactics are failing them.
According to a Wired article from 2010, new species of frogs are disappearing as fast as they are found. Frogs and humans are facing an environmental crisis. Ecosystems that need frog species to thrive are starting to unravel and scientists are worried that important medical cures will be lost forever with the disappearance of frogs.
Contributing to the disappearance of frogs is the fact the human population has doubled in the past fifty years and contributed to habit loss and abundant pollution. Another factor playing a role in the loss of frogs is a fungus called Batrochochytrium dendrobatidis or chytrid for short. According to the PBS program, chytrid has been identified as a major culprit in the loss of frogs and so far scientists have not figured out a way to stop the spread of it.
An entire population of frogs can be extinguished in a matter of months due to the quick spreading of chytrid. The only solution scientists have found is to evacuate frogs from the wild and shelter them in sterile environments. But this solution is only temporary and could have lasting effects on the environment that the frogs are being taken from. Frogs are the center of the food chain, without them other creatures are at risk of disappearing, too.
The loss of frogs could be devastating to the environment and it could also be devastating to humans. Scientist believe that many medical cures can be found in various frog species. Already scientists have found chemical compounds in frogs’ skins that can be used to treat pain and infections. These same compounds are being considered for use in HIV treatments.
Scientists are seeking ways to save the frogs of our world. Regular people can help save them by not buying wild amphibians to domesticate, not releasing pet frogs into the wild and by stopping the use of pesticides and herbicides which have been directly linked to declining amphibian populations.
Guest post by Linda St. Cyr
Linda St.Cyr is a freelance writer, blogger, and columnist. She covers a wide variety of topics from food to celebrity gossip. Read her work at Ecorazzi, Yahoo! Contributor Network, or The Hungry Kitchen.