A Rescue Mission for Amphibians at the Brink of Extinction

F1_smallRichard Stone
Science – Brian Gratwicke reaches into a terrarium with a gloved hand and gently nudges a tiny froglet onto a U.S. quarter. Smaller than George Washington’s head, the 5-day-old Limosa harlequin frog, its slick skin sporting green and black chevrons, squats calmly as Gratwicke snaps photos. The little tyke is a celebrity. When Gratwicke, a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., and his team first captured a few of the endangered toads in 2009, he says: “We couldn’t keep them alive for even 2 days.” The toads had been taken in jungle in central Panama thought to be free of chytrid fungus, which has been mowing down amphibians worldwide. But the captives had been infected in the wild and succumbed in Gamboa. The team found healthy individuals on subsequent forays. “We came this close to losing the species,” Gratwicke says, holding his thumb and index finger a hair’s width apart. …. >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: Sciene 22nd March, 2013
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One response to “A Rescue Mission for Amphibians at the Brink of Extinction

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