Frogs Get Their Shots: Vaccination May Curb Lethal Fungus

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 9, 2014   View Article

Around the world, the rapid spread of a pathogenic fungus has sent frogs and other amphibians hopping toward extinction. Hope for their survival may come in the form of vaccination programs similar to those that protect humans from contagious diseases, according to a new study.

No, this doesn’t mean that newborn tadpoles will be paying a visit to the veterinarian for a round of shots, or that conservationists with mini-syringes will be mucking through rain forests in search of frogs. But the reality isn’t all that different.

Hundreds of amphibians already have been removed from habitats contaminated with the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis — the fungal disease implicated in the global amphibian decline. One route is to vaccinate these captive-bred amphibians, explained Jason Rohr, an ecologist at the University of South Florida and the study’s senior author.

Frogs in high mountains are contaminated with farm chemicals, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 26, 2013   View Article

What gets sprayed on the farm doesn’t stay on the farm, suggests a new study that finds frogs living in mountains far away from agricultural fields are contaminated with a range of pesticides, particularly fungicides, used to protect crops from bugs, weeds and molds.

“These fungicides have not been reported in the amphibians to date,” study leader Kelly Smalling, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told NBC News.

Froggy finds raise hope for Haiti

Publication:   Date: January 12, 2011   View Article

Conservationists have rediscovered six species of frogs in Haiti, offering a ray of hope for the country on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that left it in shambles.

“I am very wary of highlighting frogs at this time in Haiti. Obviously the country has very pressing needs, but I think ultimately they are a symbol of something more hopeful,” said Robin Moore, an amphibian expert with Conservation International who helped lead the expedition that found the frogs.

Flying Dogs and Amorous Anteaters

Publication: MSN/SwitchYard Media   Date: May 11, 2010   View Article

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.” — Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Is a speedy caterpillar that can accurately forecast the winter weather lacking in smarts? Is a dog that surfs stupid?< ?p>

The protagonist in Mark Twain’s 1906 essay “What is Man” might be pleased to know that thousands of Americans routinely sharpen their perceptions at shows and festivals around the country that showcase the beauty, intellect, and physical prowess that abounds in nature.

Animal Photos Weekly: Leopard Cub, Horned Frog, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 22, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include a Persian leopard cub, a two-headed diamondback terrapin, a white-headed vulture, papier-mache pandas, and a Surinam horned frog.

Animal Photos Weekly: Penguin March, Tree Frog, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 8, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include stranded penguins, Siamese twin fish, the European Dog Show, a turtle with a bladder stone, and a tiny tree frog.

First Lungless Frog Found

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 7, 2008   View Article

The first recorded species of frog that breathes without lungs has been found in a clear, cold-water stream on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.

The frog, named Barbourula kalimantanensis, gets all its oxygen through its skin.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach