Devon Montgomery

Animal Life - Clark



Frogs are being killed all over the world. Biologists say that this is caused from acid rain, the pollution and eradication of wetlands, and the shrinking of the ozone layer. They have not found any good, solid evidence to back this information. For the past seven years, Karen Lips, biologist at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, has been researching and studying tree frogs in Fortuna Forest Reserve in Panama. Recently, she found evidence of a previously unknown parasite that may be the cause of the countless dead or dying frogs she has encountered. She collected and preserved fifty frogs of ten species and sent them to D. Earl Green, a veterinary pathologist in Maryland. He examined these frogs under a microscope. Earl found that the frogs had swollen skin, most notably in the lower belly called the drink patch. The drink patch is the area that takes in most of the frog's water. He found, after looking more closely, that they were infected by microbial bacterial parasites. He suspects that the parasite gradually dehydrates and suffocates the frogs because frogs breathe through their skin. The search is now being extended to frogs around the world to find out just exactly what the parasite is.


Article used:

Ma, Lybi. "A Plague on Frogs". Discover. January 1998. 19(1):87.