Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Saving the frogs

My friend Holly (of TMV fame) sent me this great story from the NYT:

In a race to save amphibians threatened by an encroaching, lethal fungus, two conservationists from Atlanta recently packed their carry-ons with frogs rescued from a Central American rain forest — squeezing some 150 to a suitcase — and requested permission from airlines to travel with them in the cabin of the plane.

The frogs, snuggly swaddled in damp moss in vented plastic deli containers big enough for a small fruit salad, were perhaps the last of their kind, collected from a pristine national park that fills the bowl of El Valle, an inactive volcano in Panama.

In many parts of the world, habitat loss is thought to be the biggest driver of amphibian extinctions, but the frogs in El Valle are facing a more insidious threat.

For what it's worth, Joseph Mendelson and Ron Gagliardo have my admiration. They're heroes, are they not?

Above are the Canal Zone tree frog (top) and the lemur leaf frog (bottom).

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