Custom Search

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Goodbye, frog prince. It was your habit of eating flies in public that totally bugged me

No, but seriously, Robert Deyes asks at Access Research Network, "Are We Kissing The Frog Prince Goodbye?"
Review Of PBS NATURE Documentary Thin Green Line: For those who take issue with the rather blase application of evolution to every aspect of biology, Public Television's recent showing of Thin Green Line is bound to have raised hackles. Few nature documentaries that I have seen begin with quite the same density of evolutionary suppositions. We are told for example that amphibians were the first of our ancestors to venture out of the water and that they have since evolved 'into an explosion of species'. By the same token frogs are made out to be evolutionary gems that over the millennia adapted to live alongside dinosaurs, survive asteroid impacts and withstand the rigors of the ice age. Yet herein lies the irony. For despite all their supposed evolving and adapting, amphibians today have been unable to keep up with the more recent pace of environmental change.

Indeed evolutionary just-so stories aside, Thin Green Line provided important yet deeply troubling details about a tragedy that is unfolding beneath our very eyes- one that is unprecedented in its sheer scale. A third of all amphibian species across the globe are currently in decline and half of all amphibian species may eventually disappear altogether. Like many environmental tragedies, human activity is partly to blame. Spade-Foot toads in Cape Cod for example are being edged out by an increase in road construction while the Mountain Yellow-Legged frogs of America's Yosemite National Park have only recently recovered from a hard-fought battle against fish that were introduced by recreational fishers in the early 1900's (Ref 1).

As the demand for new housing continues to rise across the world, amphibians are facing survival challenges on every front.
The trouble with amphibians is that they are stupid. In response to every new challenge, they need help surviving, because they won't do it themselves. Do you doubt this? Compare them to rats, raccoons, and Canada geese.

The only solution, in my view, is to get communities to adopt species and create an interest in keeping them alive. You can be sure they won't do it themselves.

Other extinction stories.


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Who links to me?