News FocusFROG DECLINES

Frogs: Canaries in the Hot Zone?

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Science  30 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5415, pp. 729
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5415.729

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Summary

Evidence is mounting that the frog die-offs--and the disturbing limb deformities seen in some populations--witnessed since the 1970s are being caused not by global environmental problems but by pathogens. A lethal chytrid fungus is the primary suspect in many massive frog die-offs (see main text), and in this issue, researchers report that a snail-borne parasite can cause some of the extra and missing limbs seen in wild frogs (pp. 731, 800, and 802).