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Cindy Maddera

Frog extinction linked to global warming not only made Nature’s news, but National Geographic and NPR as well. Frogs are disappearing fast and it’s all because of a deadly fungus that is spreading like wild fire. There are 110 species of Harlequin frogs and many of these are dying out. Some are already considered extinct. Frogs have very thin skin that makes them super sensitive to environmental changes and also very susceptible to chytrid fungus. Frogs are our environmental barometers. When things start going wacky with the environment, frogs are the first to feel it. A study by the World Conservation Union, Conservation International, and NatureServe in 2004 reported a one-third decline in all amphibian species.

The culprit for most of this decline is a chytrid fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Temperature extremes in the tropics used to keep this fungus in check, but new climate cycles brought on by global warming has turned the tropics into a fungus breading ground.

It’s long been predicted that global warming would bring on mass extinction by triggering lethal epidemics and now it looks like those predictions are coming true.