Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hop on a plane...

To Stem Widespread Extinction, Scientists Airlift Frogs in Carry-On Bags
Published: June 6, 2006

ATLANTA, June 5 — Of all the things airport security screeners have discovered as they rifle through travelers' luggage, the suitcases full of frogs were a first.
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.
A waterborne form of chytrid fungus is marching down the spine of the mountain range where they live. The skin of infected animals sloughs off in layers, and within two weeks, they die.
The chytrid fungus is thought to play a large role in the worldwide disappearance of amphibians, a trend terrifying to experts, who say it would be the first loss of an entire taxonomic class since the dinosaurs.
New York Times


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