|Click image to enlarge
Vietnamese mossy frog. Photo credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock
Recently discovered frogs in Asia are becoming extinct so fast that biologists don't even have time to identify them, according to biologists who issued warnings in South Korea last week at the World Conservation Congress, the once every four years meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The biologists attribute the die offs to habitat loss, disease, and pollution among other reasons, and can't quantify the scale in which these frogs are disappearing. They do know that amphibians worldwide are dying off in part due to the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, also known as chytrid fungus.
According to a report in The Guardian, amphibian conservation efforts have been more focused in the Americas and Europe with little efforts made in Asia, which is the most populous region in the world and is experiencing a building boom that is likely to affect amphibian populations. Many amphibians, the report said, are left unstudied and uncataloged.
One researcher said that there are three to four times as many amphibians that are not identified in India alone than what are currently known. In addition to the above mentioned reasons, scientists attribute the loss of these animals to the rapid economic development of Asia which has seen an increased level of nitrogen pollution in the water due to the use of fertilizers. As the amphibians, go, the scientists speculate, so do other species that are relied upon by frogs as food sources or are food sources for other species. Frogs are sensitive to small changes to their environments, and by virtue of their anatomy, are hypersensitive to any changes that may have detrimental effects on where they live, including changes in temperatures due to global warming and water and air pollution. The scientists said that more research in Asia is needed to get a better grasp on the populations of frogs and other amphibians.