World’s amphibians in big trouble, experts warn

The world’s amphibians could go extinct. All of them. Soon. So warned 50 amphibian experts from around the globe in the journal Science on Friday. Along with the same-old, same-old threats of habitat destruction, pollution, pesticides, UV radiation, and invasive species, amphibians are being wiped out by a rapidly spreading fungal disease. Climate change has made frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and other amphibians more susceptible to the disease. “For the first time in modern history, because of the way that humans are impacting our natural world, we’re facing the extinction of an entire class of organisms,” said Claude Gascon of Conservation International. The scientists announced an Amphibian Survival Alliance with a goal to fund a five-year, $400 million rescue mission. Up to 122 of the 5,743 known amphibian species have gone extinct since 1980, at least 427 are critically endangered, and almost a third are threatened.