“Where are the Amphibians Going?” by Eileen Wong

There is going to be a revolutionary change in the game “leapfrog.” Soon frogs and other amphibians are going to vanish forever and future generations will not know anything about such creatures. It will be just like the Dodo bird; ask anyone on the street what it is or what it looks like and they are just going to give you a nervous laugh.

According to Amphibian Art, an association that strives to preserve amphibians, 165 species have already gone extinct while 6,285 species are going to disappear soon.  This means that we will no longer have a variety of colourful frogs to look at and natural ponds will not look nor sound the same anymore.

For several decades, these creatures play an essential role in medicine such as healing wounds, strengthening immune systems, and curing infectious diseases from wild animals. Furthermore, they contain chemical compounds-like peptide that stops the growth of cancer cells and malaria parasite, the spread of infection, and destroys parasitic worms called nematodes.

Amphibians are fascinating animals that can regenerate a body part if it loses one.  This helps researchers understand and perhaps figure out a way in which humans can unlock their own potential to practice such ability. As a result, patients who have a failed organ or lost a limb now will not have to search vigorously for a donor nor spend high costs for them.

Without these beautiful creatures, the ecosystem food web will also immediately be affected. First of all, there will be an increase in invertebrate populations. As a result, there will be more mosquitoes that carry and spread disease among the human population. Second of all, many plant species will die from lack of nutrients. Frogs and salamanders act as carriers of nutrients from aquatic systems to terrestrial ones. In order words, members of aquatic systems such as algae communities would not get their nutrients needed to survive if it were not for amphibians.

Amphibians are endangered for many reasons. Firstly, these creatures cannot survive with polluted water. They absorb water and oxygen through their skin, but pollution is preventing them from getting clean water. Secondly, deforestation destroys their habitats wiping all life present at that location. Thirdly, a fungal disease called Chytridiomycosis has been threatening the amphibian population recently. This illness damages their skin and then kills them. It was only affecting the amphibians in Africa but for medical reasons, these infected creatures were transported to other countries, thus spreading the disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this sickness and zookeepers have no choice except to quarantine the healthy animals until they find a solution. Lastly, the number of amphibians decreasing continuously is due to the indifference of humans.  Many do not care about this reduction assuming that they will never be extinct.

However, there are always ways to help endangered species by simply minimizing your ecological footprint. For example, do not use pesticides that will eventually get into the ponds and other bodies of water including our drinking water.  You can also refuse to consume these creatures. Since a lot of them are infected with a fungal disease, it is probably not a great idea to eat them. Another good way is to build a pond in your backyard or at school. By doing this, you are building a home where a frog can breed and live. For other ways to help out amphibians, you can go on the following website and browse through: http://savethefrogs.com/how-to-help/

Your actions may be small but they contribute a lot. Please step out now, spread the word, and take a stand for amphibians.

http://www.animalsgoingextinct.blogspot.com/

http://www.amphibianark.org/the-crisis/frightening-statistics/

http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/amphibians6.html

http://txtwriter.com/onscience/Articles/deadfrogs.html

http://savethefrogs.com/how-to-help/

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Published by: G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S.

G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S., which is an acronym for Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter & Glendon Roots and Shoots' Serial, is a newsletter and serial blog created and maintained by Glendon Roots and Shoots and its creation was inspired by the Glendon Residence Environmental Committee's Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter (GREEN), thus its namesake. Our goal for GREEN GRASS is to spread awareness on environmentalism and sustainability by publishing submitted articles from Glendon's very own environmental activists and students. Published once a month, we hope to inspire fellow Glendonites and netizens beyond to become active world citizens and conscious consumers by sharing fellow students' voice of concern for the well-being of Mother Nature as we also promote G.R.A.S.' projects and initiatives. Thanks for reading~

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