Check out the latest news about Amphibians around the Americas.
Amphibians are without a doubt the most endangered group of animals on the planet: nearly 1/3 of the world's 6,485 species are on the brink of extinction. There are six major factors negatively affecting amphibians, and all are due to human activity: habitat destruction, infectious diseases, pollution & pesticides, climate change, invasive species, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades.
One of our main goals is to facilitate people, a way to meet this beautiful creatures, and to understand how fragil they are and what are their needs, so then people can love them more and protect them more.
Nobody will love someone who don´t know, and nobody will protect someone who don´t love...!
THE GOLDEN TOAD EXTINCTION
The golden toad was one of more than 500 species in the family Bufonidae — the "true toads". B. periglenes inhabited northern Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, distributed over an area of roughly 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) at an average elevation of 1,500 metres (4,900 ft).
In the spring of 1987, an American biologist who had come to the cloud forest specifically to study the toads counted fifteen hundred of them in temporary breeding pools. That spring was unusually warm and dry and most of the pools evaporated before the tadpoles in them had time to mature. The following year, only one male was seen at what previously had been the major breeding site. Seven males and two females were seen at a second site a few miles away. The year after, on May 15, 1989, the last sighting of only one male occurred. No golden toad has been seen since then. As late as 1994, five years after the last sighting, researchers still hoped that B. periglenes continued to live in underground burrows, as similar toad species have lifespans of up to twelve years. By 2004 IUCN listed the species as extinct, after an evaluation involving Savage (who had first discovered them 38 years earlier). IUCN's extinction was based on the lack of sightings since 1989 and the "extensive search[ing]" that had been done since without result. In August 2010 a search organised by the Amphibian Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature set out to look for various species of frogs thought to be extinct in the wild, including the golden toad.
Poison dart frogs in the Americas
Poison dart frogs are so named because their poisonous secretions have been used by Amerindian tribes to poison blow darts for hunting. Only three species are dangerous to humans. One of those - the golden poison frog - is considered the most toxic vertebrate on Earth. The beautifully bright colours and patterns of these frogs are a warning to potential predators that they don't make good eating. There could be over 175 species in this family of amphibians, all found in the rainforests of Central and South America. Many species of poison dart frogs are classified as critically endangered.
Did you know?
The golden poison frog is considered the most toxic vertebrate on Earth.