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Massive reductions in arthropod abundance in Puerto Rico’s rainforest are indirectly precipitating a collapse of the forest food web

Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods.

Save the frogs

Frogs are one of the oldest vertebrates on this planet. They have survived four mass extinctions, but currently they face rapid decline mostly due to habitat loss, pollution, pesticide use, over harvesting for food, collection for dissection and experimentation, disease, shrinking water sources, lack of conservation awareness and so forth. This has caused the extinction of hundreds of species worldwide.

Earth’s biggest amphibian disappearing

The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is one of the more prehistoric-looking animals that is still around today. These ancient creatures – dating back 170 million years – are amphibians that can grow up to six feet long and weigh 140 pounds. They’ve been depicted in Chinese culture for thousands of years, but have now become a highly coveted delicacy amongst the country’s wealthy. As a result, they have all but disappeared from their freshwater habitats.

Pestizide bedrohen Frosch, Unke und Molch

Nicht nur der Autoverkehr und viel befahrene Straßen quer durch die Landschaft, sondern auch Pestizide gefährden zunehmend Frösche, Kröten, Unken und Molche. "Große Rückgänge selbst bei einstigen Allerweltsarten wie dem Grasfrosch sind ein überdeutliches Alarmzeichen", sagte der Vorsitzende des Bundes Naturschutz in Bayern (BN), Hubert Weiger, am Mittwoch in Scheyern im Landkreis Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm.

Michael McCarthy: We’ve lost half our wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it

Most Britons remain blithely unaware that since the Beatles broke up, we have wiped out half our wildlife. Yet we are not alone. Last week, the French woke up in a dramatic way to the fact that their own farmland birds, their skylarks and partridges and meadow pipits, were rapidly disappearing: Le Monde, the most sober of national journals, splashed the fact across the top of its front page.

Das Verschwinden der Grasfrösche

Der zu den Braunfröschen gehörende Grasfrosch (Rana temporaria) galt früher als „Allerweltsart“. Bis ins 20. Jahrhundert hinein landete er bevorzugt in der Fastenzeit hin- und wieder auf heimischen Tellern. Er ist fast überall in Deutschland anzutreffen. Dennoch sind auch bei dieser häufig vorkommenden Amphibienart in den letzten Jahren sehr starke Bestandsrückgänge festzustellen. In bestimmten Regionen ist er bereits ganz verschwunden, sodass er in Rheinland-Pfalz auf der Vorwarnliste der gefährdeten Arten aufgeführt ist. Die Tiere ernähren sich von Insekten, Würmern, Nacktschnecken etc.

Chytridiomycosis: A Key Example of the Global Phenomenon of Wildlife Emerging Infectious Diseases

During the latter half of the 20th century, it was noticed that global amphibian populations had entered a state of unusually rapid decline. Hundreds of species have since become categorized as “missing” or “lost,” a growing number of which are now believed extinct. Amphibians are often regarded as environmental indicator species because of their highly permeable skin and biphasic life cycles, during which most species inhabit aquatic zones as larvae and as adults become semi or wholly terrestrial. This means their overall health is closely tied to that of the landscape.

Darwin's frog is likely to be wiped-out by amphibian fungus

The Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) is the latest amphibian species to face extinction due to the global chytridiomycosis pandemic, according to an international study published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. The study has found that Darwin's frogs are infected with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and despite an absence of obvious mortality researchers have noted population declines, leading them to believe that these infected populations are at a serious risk of extinction within 15 years of contracting the disease.

Alabama Salamander Gains Endangered Species Act Protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today protected Black Warrior waterdog salamanders under the Endangered Species Act, with 420 river miles of protected “critical habitat.” The rare salamanders, found only in one river basin in Alabama, are on the brink of extinction because of ongoing habitat destruction and water pollution from agricultural and industrial operations.

Earth has entered an era of mass extinction unparalleled since the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago

A 2015 study co-authored by Paul Ehrlich, professor emeritus of biology, and colleagues showed that Earth has entered an era of mass extinction unparalleled since the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago. The specter of extinction hangs over about 41 percent of all amphibian species and 26 percent of all mammals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains a list of threatened and extinct species.