Frog Named After Charles Darwin Faces Extinction In 15 Years

September 29, 2017

The Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii)  in Chile and Argentina faces extinction due to the chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus that is killing off millions of frogs around the world, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.

The researchers found that the infected populations of the frog are declining and because they are infected with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the populations are at a risk of extinction within 15 years after they contracted the disease.

The highly threatened species was thought to have stable populations, but since the frogs may have been infected more than 10 years ago, and the impact of the infection only now coming to light, an urgent call for conservation of the species has been made.

Read More

Importation Of African Clawed Frogs To The US Also Brought The Chytrid Fungus

Frogs Can Resist Chytrid Fungus

"Whilst this study focuses on the iconic Darwin's frog, its implications could be equally grave for many other species,” Benedikt Schmidt from the University of Zurich, a co-author of the study, told Science Daily. “We've long recognised the dramatic toll chytrid fungus is taking on amphibians globally -- but believed the disease's impact on host populations would quickly become apparent."

"This 'cryptic' nature of infectious disease witnessed amongst Darwin's frogs in Chile could potentially be causing similar 'slow-burn' declines among wildlife species elsewhere -- contributing to longer-term population declines and extinctions despite the lack of obvious mass-mortalities."

Darwin’s frogs are native to forest streams in Argentina and Chile and are named in honor of Charles Darwin, who is credited with discovering them. They are the only land vertebrate in which the male becomes pregnant and carries the tadpoles inside its vocal sac until they metamorphose into baby frogs, at which time they are expelled out of the frog’s mouth. They grow to an adult length of 2.1 to 3.1cm and have a head shaped like a triangle do to its fleshy proboscis on its snout. It is brown and light beige in coloration as well as mottled green with black ragged stripes, designed to resemble a dead leaf to predators.

Related Articles

USFWS Sued For Lack Of California Tiger Salamander Recovery Plan

Lack of plan further imperils Ambystoma californiense, conservation group says.

Australia's Armoured Mist Frog Range Expanded

Scientists move 40 Litoria lorica to new location four kilometers from only known area in which the frogs can be found.

Louisiana Proposes Endangered Status For Mississippi Gopher Frog

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also proposes permit system for taking or killing Eastern Diamondback rattler and two species of pine snake.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module

Cast Your Vote

What lizard do you keep?


Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module

Find Us On facebook

Edit Module