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Posted Thu Jul 22 2010: from Mongabay:
Thirty frog species, including 5 unknown to science, killed off by amphibian plague in Panama
With advanced genetic techniques, researchers have drawn a picture of just how devastating the currently extinction crisis for the world's amphibians has become in a new study published in the Proceedings of the Nation Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Studying frog populations using DNA barcoding in Panama's Omar Torrijos National Park located in El Cope researchers found that 25 known species and 5 unknown species have vanished since 1998. None have returned. Amphibians are threatened in many parts of the world by pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, over-exploitation, pesticides, and climate change, yet the big killer of the world's amphibians is disease: chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease, is wiping out frogs even in the world's most untouched habitats.... "It's sadly ironic that we are discovering new species nearly as fast as we are losing them," said Andrew Crawford, former postdoctoral fellow at STRI... According to the paper, since arriving the disease has wiped out over 40 percent of the park's total amphibian species, and one-third of the amphibians' evolutionary history.
[Read more stories about: amphibian collapse, koyaanisqatsi]

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'Doc Michael says:
I'd call that steady-state biodiversity!

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