2008 has been declared the year of the frog by environmentalist groups across the planet. For several years scientists have noticed that the frog population has been dying. The loss of habitat and environmental pollutants were first thought to be the cause, but even in seemingly pristine habitats frogs were dying.
The culprit has turned out to be a parasitic fungus called chytrid. The fungus is currently unstoppable and can kill up to 80 percent of the population once a habitat has become infected. It is deadly to hundreds of species of amphibians.
The Amphibian Ark was formed to try to save the worlds amphibian population. The AArk is a joint effort of three principal partners: the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the IUCN/SSCConservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).
The group believes that without immediate action the world could see the largest mass extinction since the dinosaur. In a press release AArk said without intervention up to half of the amphibians could be extinct after 360 million years of existence.
The only solution thus far has been is to isolate the amphibians from the wild. Holding environments have been created to protect and preserve a variety of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians from infection.
For more information on the amphibian crisis visit the AArk website at www.amphibianark.org.
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