The world has lost one more species this week and, sadly, others like it maybe in jeopardy.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Zoo announced that a 12-year-old Toughie frog, the last known Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog left in existence, had been found dead in the enclosure where he lived by himself.
Toughie was one of several frogs airlifted from his home in Central America in 2005, the year his kind was first discovered in the cloud forests of Panama. Biologists tried by breeding them in captivity, to save their species from a deadly fungus-borne disease affecting amphibians after it was detected in the region.
Just two years later, Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frogs was no longer found in the wild.
There were several breeding programs aimed at preserving frogs proved fruitless. By 2009, the last female Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog died in captivity, followed by another male in 2012. From that point forward, Toughie was all that was left.
Now it is no longer.
The loss of Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frogs is just the latest in what is considered an ongoing mass extinction of amphibians. More than a hundred amphibian species have been wiped out, with another 6,285 being at risk of extinction. The reason they died off is still no known, researchers believe human activity is in part to blame through habitat destruction, pollution and environmental changes brought on by global warming.
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