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ATLANTA - Ponds and swamps are becoming eerily silent. The familiar melody of ribbits, croaks and chirps is disappearing as a mysterious killer fungus wipes out frog populations around the globe, a phenomenon likened to the extinction of dinosaurs.
Scientists from around the world are meeting Thursday and Friday in Atlanta to organize a worldwide effort to stem the deaths by asking zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens to take in threatened frogs until the fungus can be stopped.
The aim of the group called Amphibian Ark is to prevent the world's more than 6,000 species of frogs, salamanders and wormlike sicilians from disappearing. Scientists estimate up to 170 species of frogs have become extinct in the past decade from the fungus and other causes, and an additional 1,900 species are threatened.
Amphibian Ark wants zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums in each country to take in at least 500 frogs from a threatened species to protect them from the killer fungus, which is called chytrid fungus.
The fungus isn't the only thing that's deadly to amphibians — it's just killing them faster than development, pollution and global warming, said George Rabb, the retired head of the Chicago's Brookfield Zoo and a leader in Amphibian Ark. Scientists will have to closely monitor frog populations re-released into the wild once the fungus is eliminated, he said.
"Right now with global warming and the garbage heap we put in the atmosphere, there are going to be risks," said Rabb, one of the country's leading conservation scientists. "That's why we'll need people from other professional fields — epidemiology, climate change."
(By DORIE TURNER, Associated Press Writer)
Originally posted by sylvrshadow
You know, I am happy that someone who can do something about what is happening is actually paying attention! I guess I have always worried that people would notice when it was far to late.