Frog extinction theory is going extinct

Remember this WUWT story?  What frog science can teach us about global warming

From UC Davis: National survey finds frog abnormalities rare

A 10-year study shows some good news for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges. The rate of abnormalities such as shortened or missing legs was less than 2 percent overall — indicating that the malformations first reported in the mid-1990s were rarer than feared. But much higher rates were found in local “hotspots,” suggesting that where these problems occur they have local causes. The results were published Nov. 18 in the journal PLOS ONE.

“We now know what the baseline is and the 2 percent level is relatively good news, but some regions need a deeper look,” said Marcel Holyoak, professor of environmental science and policy at the University of California, Davis, and a co-author on the study. Hotspot regions included the Mississippi River Valley, California and south-central and eastern Alaska.

Mari Reeves, a graduate student working with Holyoak, led the data analysis and is corresponding author on the paper. Reeves now works at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

Fieldwork for the study was carried out by the Fish and Wildlife Service at 152 refuges across the country between 2000 and 2009. Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study. The complete dataset is available to researchers and the public online.

Bullfrog on a plant

Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study, and the dataset is available to researchers and the public online. (Bill Buchanan/USFWS/photo)

The aim of the study was to understand where and when these abnormalities occur — are they widespread, or localized? Are they persistent, or do they appear and fade away? — rather than to identify specific causes, Holyoak said. Understanding the patterns of these hotspots in space and time can help researchers home in on likely causes, he said.

The results show that abnormality hotspots occur in specific places, but within these hotspots the rate of malformations can change over time, Holyoak said.

“We see them at an elevated frequency one year or for a few years, and then they recover,” he said.

The most common problems observed were missing or shortened toes or legs, and skin cysts. Only 12 cases of frogs with extra legs were found.

Many different potential causes have been put forward for the abnormalities, including pollution from industry or agriculture, parasites, ultraviolet exposure and naturally occurring heavy metals leaching into water bodies. The exact cause may vary from place to place, Holyoak noted.

The study comes against a background of a general decline in amphibian populations both in the U.S. and worldwide. For example, the California red-legged frog celebrated by Mark Twain’s story is now listed as threatened. Frogs and toads may be especially sensitive to changes in climate and air or water quality. It’s not clear whether hotspots of malformations contribute to this general decline, Holyoak said, but the new dataset will help researchers explore the problem.

The study was funded by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Other authors were: Kimberly Medley and Pieter Johnson, University of Colorado, Boulder; Alfred Pinkney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Annapolis; and Michael Lannoo, Indiana University School of Medicine.

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36 thoughts on “Frog extinction theory is going extinct

  1. “Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study…”

    Headline:

    FROG AND TOAD POPULATIONS PLUMMET; GLOBAL WARMING BLAMED

  2. Why, just the other day, I said to myself, “Whatever happened to all those scare stories about frogs?”

  3. We study close to home. It’s cheaper, safer and we already know a lot about it. Perhaps amphibians are (reasonably) not happy in urbanized or urban-effected places. They disappear where we are, just as wolves and bears don’t thrive with man.

    A regional, man-associated problem, extrapolated globally. I wonder what the frog situation is in deep Amazonian forests NOT downstream of big mines.

    If the global problem for frogs is people, then the study of frogs is background for a policy of not just birth control, but local population reduction. Man cannot exist in stability with the planet in current numbers. If the future is as bad as the worst scenarios, perhaps the extreme need would justify even extermination/cleansing campaigns.

    It is weird how thinking a “problem” through in the climate wars keeps coming back to programs that don’t support more non-white, European-based, educated people. There is a good future, but only for people like Al Gore and David Suzuki.

  4. “Perhaps amphibians are (reasonably) not happy in urbanized or urban-effected places. ”

    I dunno, they seem to be rather happy, and quite prolific, in our garden!

  5. ‘Collected 68,000 frogs’…… hmmmm, which type of frog would be easier to collect? those with all their extremities (legs) in top working order, or those with leg deformities?

  6. Doug Proctor: “It is weird how thinking a “problem” through in the climate wars keeps coming back to programs that don’t support more non-white, European-based, educated people”

    More properly, and without the overtones, it keeps coming back to the poor. If we could only get rid of them, we’d all be wealthy and have the money to burn finding problems for the solutions we have.

  7. “Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study…”
    Dr. Medley noted there are only so many ways to prepare frog legs and, “I may never eat another one as long as I live”.

  8. “Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study…”

    How many did they collect for the lounge? Oh, just a small sample.

    vry sry, smack self.

  9. Many different potential causes have been put forward for the abnormalities, including pollution from industry or agriculture, parasites, ultraviolet exposure and naturally occurring heavy metals leaching into water bodies. The exact cause…..

    inbreeding

    News Flash: Frog population decreases by 68,000….scientists don’t know why
    …film at 11:00

  10. “Frogs and toads may be especially sensitive to changes in climate and air or water quality”

    The problem w/ young researchers, besides being brainwashed that CAGW is real, is they don’t have a clue how “bad” the air and water quality was before the clean air and clean water acts in the ’60’s and 70’s. So this statement, to me, means that as the air/water quality asymptotically returns to pre-industrial purities these amphibians could be adversely affected. GMaFB!

    Also, steve salter said:
    November 21, 2013 at 8:47 am
    ‘Collected 68,000 frogs’…… hmmmm, which type of frog would be easier to collect? those with all their extremities (legs) in top working order, or those with leg deformities?
    —-
    I think “collect” needs to be changed to “eat” (by predators).

  11. As others have posted, I recalled the “end of times” predicted from frog population problems went away when it was discovered that a major source of the problems were from parasites and bacteria exascerbated by eco-tourism and frog research.
    Years ago the bullfrog survival in ponds in our county was affected by the cottonmouth population and .22 hollowpoint bullets, which given the need to occasionally decrease the cottonmouth population were better than gigs. 68,000 frogs, if they were all bullfrogs…

  12. The bad news stories make Page 1. The good news stories get buried (if they make print) somewhere near the classified ads. Who wants to know the planet is actually is quite good shape? Certainly not the MSM and the environmental activists who existance depends upon the scare stories and children emptying their piggy banks.

  13. Climate researcher’s notes from an experiment to see how climate-induced loss of limbs affects frogs’ ability to survive:

    Method: Set frog on level surface with distance markers. Make loud noise behind frog to get it to leap. Record distance. Amputate one limb and repeat, followed by other limbs.

    Results:

    Frog with four legs jumps six feet;
    Frog with three legs jumps four feet
    Frog with two legs jumps three feet
    Frog with one leg jumps two feet
    Frog with no legs is deaf.

  14. Frogs and toads have been around since before the dinosaurs, survived the Yucatan impact and the unimaginable fallout that produced. I think they know a bit more about survival than us silly humans.

  15. The frog killing fungus has been known about since the late 1990s.

    PNAS -July 21, 1998
    Abstract
    Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America

    http://www.pnas.org/content/95/15/9031.short

    http://irceb.asu.edu/amphibians/text/pnas.pdf

    Then they tried to link it to global warming link it to global warming forgetting that the fungus hitched a ride on the researchers’ boots and tires who proceeded to spread it all over the place.

    The fungus looks like it was spread not by global warming but by global trotting researchers and global trade.

    Abstract
    The sudden appearance of chytridiomycosis, the cause of amphibian deaths and population declines in several continents, suggests that its etiologic agent, the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, was introduced into the affected regions. However, the origin of this virulent pathogen is unknown. A survey was conducted of 697 archived specimens of 3 species of Xenopus collected from 1879 to 1999 in southern Africa in which the histologic features of the interdigital webbing were analyzed. The earliest case of chytridiomycosis found was in a Xenopus laevis frog in 1938, and overall prevalence was 2.7%. The prevalence showed no significant differences between species, regions, season, or time period. Chytridiomycosis was a stable endemic infection in southern Africa for 23 years before any positive specimen was found outside Africa. We propose that Africa is the origin of the amphibian chytrid and that the international trade in X. laevis that began in the mid-1930s was the means of dissemination.

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/10/12/03-0804_article.htm

  16. Killing with kindness. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Chytrid is now reported on all continents where frogs live—in 43 countries and 36 U.S. states. It survives at elevations from sea level to 20,000 feet and kills animals that are aquatic, land-loving, and those that jump the line. Locally it may be spread by anything from a frog’s legs to a bird’s feathers to a hiker’s muddy boots, and it has afflicted at least 200 species.”

    ”It wasn’t long ago when you walked along the bank of this pond,” he recalls, “a frog leapt at every other step. You’d see hundreds of them alive and well, soaking in the sun in a writhing mass.” But in 2005, when the biologist hiked up to his camp anticipating another season of long-term studies, “there were dead frogs everywhere. Frogs I’d been working with for years, that I’d tagged and followed through their lives, all dead. I sat down on the ground and cried.”

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2009/04/amphibian/holland-text

  17. I would wager there would be HUGE interest in deformed frogs with more than 4 legs in Louisiana for breeding purposes. Especially if the additional legs were rear ones.

  18. Funny how they mention the red legged frog as in decline but fail to mention that bull frogs, a non local species that was imported to the area to compete in frog jumping competitions that celebrate Mark twains writing about the red legged frogs, are everywhere and most likely at least partly responsible for the red legged frogs decline.

  19. Vince Causey says:
    November 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    You are correct. The oldest proto-frog fossil is from Early Triassic rock, but molecular clock dating suggests that they existed in the Permian, so survived not just the K/T but the Mother of All Mass Extinctions as well.

  20. Jquip: “More properly, and without the overtones, it keeps coming back to the poor.”

    No it doesn’t. There has not been a single “looming ecological disaster” that did not incorporate as part of the “solution” the prevention of development by the (non white) Third World. From “Global Cooling” through “Acid Rain” to “Climate change” part of the answer is to slow or stop development in the (non white) Third World.

    Malaria was a scourge all over the planet and then DDT was invented. What happened once the predominantly white nations had eradicated it? It’s use was “discouraged” and it was finally banned, leaving the predominantly non white nations to suffer.

    The Green Luddites are quite happy for their ideas and policies to kill millions, they are proud of the DDT ban and don’t care about the millions sickened or killed. Being Luddites they are against development at all times but if their actions can bump off some of the “teeming swarms” in the process, then all the better.

    They rarely say it, but their actions betray their goals.

  21. “The rate of abnormalities such as shortened or missing legs was less than 2 percent overall..”

    Considering that the hind legs are the first items to develop on a tadpole, how are they so sure they’re “deformed”, rather than bitten off?

  22. When, even in modern times (As we know new frogs species have been discovered), has the presence of any species on this rock has been static?

  23. Thanks for sharing that helpful link to evidence, Max Hugoson (8:40am, 11/21/13). Of course, they would style the local disease zones “hot spots” to falsely imply that AGW is the underlying culprit — along with a hysterical shriek at the end (paraphrased, but not much…) Muths: “But, disease is NOTHING!!! Who cares if you are dying of a disease when you don’t even have a house to live in!!!!”

    *************************
    GREAT VIDEO, OssQss — thanks for sharing.
    ************************************

    @ Gary Hladik (11/21, 8:29am) and Latitude (11/21, 9:20am — heh, great minds…) — great wit and humor, lol.

    @Tom G. Ologist (111/21, 10:48am) — thanks for sharing — lol.

    ************************
    Great research, Jimbo, as usual. Thanks. {Jimbo stares back coldly} Yeah, yeah, I realize you didn’t do it for me. I’m grateful, anyway. #(:))

    [Fashion observation of the day. The ponytail is gone, long live the bowltie. Mod]

  24. Oh, Moderator, you noticed. (smile) HOWEVER, (parumph) it is a bow — on TOP of my head, lol. “Janice” is a girl’s name! (eye roll) {re: the “bowl,” (Kip Hansen’s misread) lol, after some of my posts, I suppose that is what I SHOULD put over my head, heh}

    Hey, did your dad (or some other relative) ever have fun doing this with you as a little kid?

    {take handkerchief and form a: moustache — bow tie — bow with it}

    =|(:#(] — “You MUST pay the rent!”

    #(:() — “I CAN’T pay the rent!”

    {REPEAT: above with increasingly exaggerated dramatic expression UNTIL child is giggling}

    =)(:|]# — “I’ll pay the rent!”

    #(:)) — “My hero!”

    [The moderator is bowled over #](:))… Butt, is this a parumph? ((*))? Mod]

  25. Doug Proctor says:
    November 21, 2013 at 8:34 am


    Man cannot exist in stability with the planet in current numbers. If the future is as bad as the worst scenarios, perhaps the extreme need would justify even extermination/cleansing campaigns.

    Au contraire. Locate the UN Population Survey, and open the Low Band page. It’s the only one ever close to accurate. Peak in 30 years, at about 8bn, declining thereafter, indefinitely. De-pop will be the real crisis, just as cooling will hit all the warmist-planners crossways.

    To be explicit, we are being pushed to prepare for an overheated and overcrowded planet and are going to get the reverse. Which will be REALLY bad news, not pretend and imaginary bad news like we are playing with currently, for thrills and jollies.

  26. Moderator,

    Ahem! I hope that was a typo about halfway through your reply to my 3:09pm post, lol.

    Please forgive my obtuseness, but, the only things ((*)) looks like to me are either a pumpkin or a spider. Please advise.

    Thanks!

    Janice

  27. Well, looks like I’m one step above a persona non grata here, now. I’ve been diss’d by a MOD! Well, just you wait, young man. Someday, (soon, I hope, heh, heh) you are going to meet someone when you’re two sheets to the wind and wake up married and THEN…. we’ll see who gets the last laugh. Bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaa!
    #(;))

    “Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William, Now” (Van Halen)

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