Frogs Are Disappearing; Should We Be Panicking?

One study estimates that since the 1970s, around 200 frog species have disappeared.

(Getty Images)
Getty Images

The dusky gopher frog was once endemic to the longleaf pine savannas of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, but it is now listed among the 100 most endangered species on earth.

As of 2015, about 135 dusky gopher frogs were estimated to remain in the wild, mostly found in a single pond in Mississippi — dying off because their breeding sites were destroyed by new roads and the timber industry.

The fate of the species seems to lie with the Supreme Court, writes The New York Times, who as its first case will consider Weyerhaeuser Co. v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which pits property rights against environmental conservation.

The Times writes that according to one study, since the 1970s, around 200 frog species have disappeared, with a project loss of hundreds more in the next century. Frogs are under threat on nearly every continent, which would be a sad end for the creature, which The Times writes has had an exalted role over the ages in almost every culture.

They have been revered as emissaries of the divine, feared as witches’ familiars, and beloved as human stand-ins. And soon they may be relegated to the pages of those fairy tales.

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