Amphibians are the hardest hit by the wave of extinction events that have been occurring to animal species around the world. Internationally, out of about 5800 species of amphibians such as frogs and toads, Perth Zoo says 43% are in decline while 2% are already thought to be extinct. In contrast, a mere 1% of species are on the rise.
Ninety-three percent of the world’s frog species can be found Australia. And with nine of these already extinct and 27% of endemic frog species threatened with extinction, this is an issue Australia can’t afford to ignore.
Why are amphibians more affected than other animal groups?
Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that breed and develop in the water. They have felt the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic factors just as keenly as their warm-blooded counterparts. But amphibians are the only animal group to be affected by a chytrid fungal outbreak. This particular species of fungus has been described as “the worst infectious disease ever recorded among vertebrates in terms of the number of species impacted, [with a] propensity to drive them to extinction,” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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