Save the South American Tree Frog
Too often, global warming is linked to catastrophic effects like tidal waves and other cinematic episodes. The problem with this is that when such high profile events do not regularly occur, the overall danger is downplayed. To better understand the insidious impact of climate change, consider the following: As reported by MedIndia.com, the South American tree frogs? population is declining and biologists are blaming global warming. These frogs, it seems, have the very un-froglike habit of basking in the hot sun (most frogs normally avoid prolonged exposure to light due to the risk of overheating and dehydration).
According to a research team at the University of Manchester, "global warming is leading to more cloud cover in the frogs' natural habitat. This, in turn, is denying them the opportunity to 'sunbathe' and kill off fatal Chytrid fungal infections, leading to many species dying out."
Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at the Manchester Museum said: "With a third of the world's amphibians currently under threat it's vitally important we do our utmost to investigate the reasons why they are dying out at such an alarming rate.? The health of species like South American tree frogs is crucial to all living things not only in a biodiversity sense but also because certain species serve as proverbial canaries in a coal mine, e.g. they help us discern which eco-systems are highly threatened. Some frogs may turn out to play this tole.
Take a Leap: How You Can Help the South American Tree Frog
When confronted with the ugly results—both big and small—of climate change, we can never downplay our ability to fight back. Whether it's lightening our carbon footprint and/or shining the light on major players, there is valuable work to be done. More specific to amphibians, Brian Merchant suggests ways to help some of our froggy friends, e.g. don't use pesticides and do not eat frog legs.