Sunday, November 9, 2014

Amphibian Extinction Crisis




“Why should we pay any thought to the upcoming extinction of frogs and various other amphibians, and reptiles? They are not important creatures in the grand scheme of things after all”...That is where you are wrong. Amphibians are actually considerable predators of insects. Without the help of amphibians to monitor the insect population, an out of control insect population has the ability to do severe damage to crops. A major increase in the insect population also means a potential higher level of insect borne 
diseases such as malaria, and encephalitis. Do I have your attention now?

In researching Biodiversity and the subtopic of Species Biodiversity, I came across the astonishing rising extinction of Amphibians. The rate of extinction for amphibians ranges from 25,039 to 45,474 times the backdrop rate. Examples of these species are animals such as frogs, salamanders, and toads. According to my research amphibians have the highest level of endangerment of extinction than other animal. Frogs and toads are vanishing from the earth because of habitat loss, air pollution, climate change, and ultraviolet light exposure is making them susceptible to disease as well as new exotic species.Another factor that is possibly causing many amphibians to becoming extinct is various countries collecting frogs, as a source of food. Countries that are known for the collection of frogs for food are, Africa, Germany, The Netherlands, as well as France and the United States. The number of frogs the United States has imported has been as high as 3 million kg of frog meat per year, that is equal to to about 26 million frogs.

It will take a great deal of effort in order to lesson the effects of these changes. This includes, better education for the public, politicians, and lawyers' support in the issue, and of course scientists better study possible solutions to the problem. However, this the study of the “decline” of amphibians is becoming more and more difficult as they are on their way to be extinct.

You may be wondering “Well, how can I help?” Some of the answers to that question may surprise you. One way you can help is by slowing down while driving at night while it is wet out. Another way is by not using pesticides. As well as, conserving the resources you have. I know that most of us have all heard the term “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” but it honestly does help. I know this may come as a disappointment to all the exotic animal lovers out there, but one way you can help amphibians not become extinct is by not purchasing wild-caught amphibians and take them home as pets. Not all animals are meant to be kept as a household pet. If you are unsure of whether or not the animal was caught in the wild, and then sold-please be sure to do some research, into the place where you hope to be buying the animal. The reason for this is not only can reptiles and amphibians carry certain germs like salmonella; which can be harmful to all humans, but especially to young children as their immune systems are still in the developmental stages. Certain states (at least in the U.S.) may have laws and restrictions on owning wild-caught amphibians and reptiles. However, this does not stop some pet stores, and street vendors from attempting to sell them. People have also been known to try and sell reptiles and amphibians over the internet that are not within legal limits.
So, please be aware, educate yourself, and make safe decisions for not only yourself, but for your family as well. While the extinction of frogs may not seem like much of a big deal now, it most certainly has the potential to be...for all of us.

Here are some of the resources used in the writing of this article:
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/
Photo Credit: frogworld.net

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