Liberal use of the pesticide Atrazine in the US, China and Australia is affecting the frog population, sexually—males are turning into females. This is in line of a series of extinction blows this group of amphibians has faced over the past decades. The fact that frogs are on the threshold of dying out has been a subject of debate among ecologists for nearly two decades now. Causes are several, but the issue is complex and lack of conclusive data does not help in making amphibian conservation any easier.
“Different species are affected by different things.”
An epidemic disease caused by a fungus has endangered some species. Outbreaks of this disease may also be enhanced by environmental conditions. In other places habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, are important. Pesticides and fertilizers also affect some amphibian populations, either directly or by changing the balance of ecological systems to favour predators or parasites or pathogens of frogs,” said Ross Albert of the School of Marine and Tropical Biology at the James Cook University in Australia (See “The chorus is dying”, Down To Earth, November 15-30, 2009).
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