That’s a great question, and not too many people are aware of the threat to amphibians. Toads, frogs, salamanders, and caecilians are going extinct at an alarming rate due to pollution, habitat destruction, global warming, and most devastatingly, a fungus called chytridiomycosis. Within our lifetimes we may see half of all species disappear. Since they not only control their local environmental balance by eating insects like mosquitoes (keeping Malaria under control,) but provide possible cures for cancer and AIDS- It’s a devastating loss for the planet. Amphibians are also what they call “indicator species.” Their sensitivity to things like pollution, climate change, or other environmental disturbances, are indicators of possible things to come for the rest of the world. So the fact that we’re loosing an unprecedented amount of amphibians (not equalled in such numbers since the extinction of dinosaurs,) is a frightening concept to think about. Is the phenomenon contained in amphibians alone, or is it an indication of something that could effect us all?
We HAVE to step up our conservation efforts. Simply start by consuming less stuff; The more pressure we put on developing nations to supply us with materials or resources, the more pressure they are going to put on their rainforests and wetlands. Write to congress demanding they do more in the name of conservation, pollution, and climate change. Then possibly, volunteer or donate to a conservation group. Last Christmas, instead of gifts, every one in our family donated a small amount in each other’s names to a non-profit of their choice. It was more memorable and rewarding to receive a gift like that, rather than some junk you don’t need. Until we put more of a value on animals like frogs than we do on material possessions, the situation won’t improve. We can change, however, and there’s plenty to be optimistic about. Nature can recover from all the pressures man has but on her, given time and protection. Be a steward of the planet, and you’ll realise how precious Life is.
Frogs are a perfect example of animals that play a vital role in the environment and for us, we just do not realize it. Through the effects of global warming, climate change, destruction of habitat, frogs continue to shrink in comparison. This problem is nearly as important as the bat endemic. The decrease in the frog population must be taken care of as soon as possible because as ktjphoto said, they have many important roles, not just for us, but for the whole environment.
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