Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Aboard the Amphibian Ark

In response to the sheer number of extinct and endangered species of amphibians being threatened by development, climate change and pathogenic outbreaks, a group of biologists have put a rescue plan into play known as the "Amphibian Ark." Similar in concept to a seed bank, the Ark team collects species of amphibians, which are at risk, and houses them until re-release into the wild is deemed safe.

In the past decade there has been an increase in amphibian die-off and mutation due to a variety of factors including the chytrid fungus, the origin of which still remains a subject of debate. The group, which has been publicized by celebrity biologist Jeff Corwin, has created some innovative ways to get donors involved including a recent contest to name a recently discovered species of Osornophryne frog from Ecuador.

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