Frogpocalypse: Ribbits Fade as Frog Species Go Extinct at Alarming Rate

A new study finds that 200 frog species around the world have gone extinct since the 1970s and hundreds more could disappear in the next 100 years.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that frogs are going extinct about 10,000 times faster than their historical rates.

“Many frogs around the world are in a death spiral and desperately need our help,” said Jenny Loda, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and scientist focused on protecting amphibians and reptiles.

RELATED: The Amphibian and Reptile Extinction Crisis

“If we don't make serious efforts to slow down and reverse this extinction crisis we’ll lose an irreplaceable piece of our biodiversity, and much of what makes the world the wild, fascinating place that it is," she said.

The study reports that at least 3 percent of frog species have already gone extinct and that at the current pace another 7 percent of frog species will be lost within the next century, even with no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

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The endangered gopher frog, endemic to Southeastern United States, is losing its natural habitat. (image: Kevin Enge/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Frogs are subject to numerous threats, such as toxic pesticides, unsustainable logging, chytrid fungus, the climate crisis and other human causes.

“Frogs reflect not only the state of the world they live in but the world we live in too. It’s critical that we understand that what’s happening to them is a warning of what could happen to us,” said Loda, who has worked on wildlife research and habitat restoration in California, Hawaii and Iowa.

“It would be tragic if we ignored this warning and failed to take immediate action to protect frogs and other wildlife.”


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