icon Frog Populations


On October 15, 1996 ZetaTalk stated that Frog Populations with their vulnerable DNA would be affected worldwide, the cause puzzling. On Jan 19, 2000 their declining numbers and confusion over the cause were being reported.

Frogs' Disappearance Baffles Scientists
Adapted from Genevieve Hussey's report, January 19, 2000

Australian scientists have joined an international effort to attempt to solve a worldwide environmental mystery: a drastic decline in frog numbers. Researchers are concerned that even frogs in pristine areas of rainforest are continuing to die for no apparent reason. But the decline in frog numbers could be a warning of a much more serious ecological problem. At a field research site on the Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland, scientists are searching for clues to why frogs are dying. Richard Rettallick from Queensland Parks and Wildlife says the frog decline is an "absolute mystery". "In the world, north Queensland, especially the wet tropics here, is one of the hardest hit [areas] that we know of," he said. "[The] number of species gone missing and the population declines have been most dramatic."

Frog populations worldwide have been declining for the past 20 years, some to the point of extinction. Mr Rettallick says the study team in north Queensland has found that frogs have gone missing from upland streams but are still present in lowland streams. "So what we thought we'd do is to bring frogs back to the upland streams and to watch them and see what happens, see if they die again," he said. Every week, the frogs - which have been placed in enclosures - are weighed and measured. "If the agent that killed the frogs 10 years ago in this area is still operating, this little guy should die soon," Mr Rettallick said.

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