A Future For Frogs
Nearly 2,000 amphibian species are threatened. Scientists have a plan to protect them.
Frogs and toads first hopped on our planet 400 million years ago. But do they have a future here? Scientists met in Washington, D.C., to try to answer this troubling question. They came up with a plan that is one big leap toward saving these animals.
Frogs and toads are amphibians. Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that have a backbone and live both on land and in water.
Many kinds of frogs are in danger of becoming extinct, or dying out completely. A study of 2004 found that almost 2,000 kinds of amphibians are in serious trouble. Populations around the world have dropped in the past 25 years. Many have disappeared.
Several things could be hurting amphibians. The destruction of forests and other native habitats is probably the biggest threat.
Some researchers say amphibians are especially sensitive to pollution. Many of the animals live near polluted water. Some amphibians are hunted as food.
A CALL TO ACTION
At the Washington, D.C., meeting, scientists created a plan to help save amphibians. The plan will support governments that take steps to protect important amphibian habitats.
Saving amphibians won't be easy or cheap. Scientists think that it could cost more that $400 million. It will take many years. But there is hope. "We still have time to save these threatened creatures," says claude Gascon of the World Conservation Union.
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