Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Lost Decade for Frogs: 30 Species Extinct in Panama

June 4, 2014

A fungal disease has wiped out at least 30 species of amphibians in central Panama, according to a study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Five of the species that became extinct had not yet even been formally identified.

The study confirmed a worldwide trend of amphibian populations being decimated by a fungal pathogen called chytrid. Three U.S. researchers studying amphibians in El Copé, Panama detailed the presence of the species from 1998 to 2003 – before the fungus’ arrival – and then after the fungus’ arrival from 2006 to 2008. They saw a drastic drop in the number of species from 63 to 33.

A sixth of those species now absent from Panama’s Omar Torrijos National Park had not been catalogued before.

“It’s sadly ironic that we are discovering new species nearly as fast as we are losing them,” Andrew Crawford told the United Kingdom’s daily the Independent.

Crawford, of the University of the Andes in Colombia, led the study.

The fungus moves fast and it’s difficult to stop the devastation once it infests a certain area. The Independent pointed out that one of the most exemplary cases of the fungus-driven decline in amphibian populations occurred in Costa Rica.

In the 1980s, the fungus destroyed the golden toad population in Monteverde, in north-central Costa Rica. By 1989, the golden toad was extinct. Some experts say global warming contributed to the festering of the fungus in the areas where it has wreaked havoc on amphibian populations.

 

You may be interested

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico
Costa Rica
3266 views
Costa Rica
3266 views

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

The Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefutbol) on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the men's national team's planned friendly match against…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22
Costa Rica
5461 views
Costa Rica
5461 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica announced 15 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 760, according to official data…

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021
Costa Rica
3339 views
Costa Rica
3339 views

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica's Immigration Administration on Monday published a resolution which, among other items, extends the validity of tourist visas until…