Conservation groups unveil $404 million plan to aid planet’s amphibians

Amphibians are having a rough time of it, and by “rough,” we mean terrifically bad. Nearly a third of all amphibian species worldwide are believed to be at risk of extinction, with some 122 already suspected of having died off in the last 25 years or so. Fortunately, emergency assistance for the critters that are left may be on the way. A group of international conservation organizations has announced an attempt to fund a $404 million plan that would preserve important habitat, create captive breeding programs for especially imperiled species, and sponsor disease research on a prolific fungus that’s believed to be responsible for a large portion of the die-offs. Though the plan has been widely embraced by many, some point out that the panoply of problems amphibians face can’t be solved in any meaningful way without addressing the root causes — chemical pollution, invasive species, the spread of disease, a rampant pet trade, and climate change.