Over 160 amphibians have gone extinct in 20 years

Golden toads lived only in the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica [2]. They spent most of their time underground, coming out into the daylight for just a few days a year to mate [2]. Scientists counted 1500 individual toads in 1987, but 2 years later in 1989 they found just 1 male toad [2]. They have not been seen since and have been declared extinct [2]. It is thought that it was a fungus called Chytrid that killed the golden toads [2]. Higher temperatures from climate change make frogs more likely to catch this fungus, and other diseases [3]. Many other species have now followed the same fate as the golden toad, suffering from high temperatures and killed by diseases [3,4].

Amphibians (frogs, toads, newts) don’t get as much love and attention as mammals and birds [6], but they are dying out at the fastest rate [7]. A recent study found that that half of amphibian species are at risk of extinction [5]. Why care about amphibians? Every species has its role to play in natural ecosystems, and they can also have direct benefits for humans – toxins from frogs, for example, are used in medicine for many things including infections and heart disorders [8]!


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