From Washington to Panama: The Global Fight to Save Frogs
By: Sabri Ben-Achour
July 29, 2011
Two red-eyed tree frogs in 'amplexus' -- the mating position. The smaller one is the male. These frogs are highly cute, but not not endangered.
It was the District's very own National Zoo that, a dozen years ago, first discovered what's been called the smallpox of the frog world: a fungus called Chytrid. First introduced from Africa, the fungus is working its way through the Americas, wiping out amphibians as it moves across vast stretches of territory. In part one of a two-part series, environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour brings us the view from Panama: where the last uninfected frogs are close to extinction... and where, for others, it's already too late.
[Music: "Frog" by 8 Bit from The Number of the Bit]
Video of a Hylomantis lemur getting swabbed
Researchers want to know what bacteria are growing on its skin. Introducing new bacteria to vulnerable frog skin may save them from the amphibian chytrid.
For this month's Environmental Outlook: Ten years ago, Israel experienced a prolonged drought that forced the country to come up with a strategy to address water scarcity. What its experience could teach an increasingly water-starved planet.
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