File:Golden toad.jpg

From Global Warming Art

Description

The golden toad (bufo periglenes) is an amphibian which was indigenous to only an approximately 5 square kilometer region of Costa Rica[1], and is now believed to be extinct. It is considered by some as one of the first creatures whose extinction can be definitively blamed on global warning[2].

These toads only mate during a few weeks in April and May and depend upon seasonal pools of rainwater in which to lay their eggs. Warming sea surface temperatures in the adjacent oceans are blamed for decreased rainfall and drier conditions in the cloud forest where the golden toad made its home[2]. During the mating season in 1987, more than 1500 toads were observed, but an exceptionally dry and warm year caused the breeding pools used by the frogs to dry out before the tadpoles could fully mature. Since then, only 11 toads have been observed and no definitive observations have been made since 1989 despite extensive searching[2][3].

Copyright status

Public domain
This image is in the public domain because it contains or is derived from materials that originally came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency of the United States Department of Interior. For more information, see the Fish and Wildlife Service copyright policy.

References

  1. ^ Martha L. Crump, Frank R. Hensley, Kenneth L. Clark (1992). "Apparent Decline of the Golden Toad: Underground or Extinct?". Copeia 1992 (2): 413-420. 
  2. ^ a b c J. Alan Pounds, Michael P.L. Fogden, and John H. Campbell (1999). "Biological response to climate change on a tropical mountain". Nature 398: 611-615. 
  3. ^ J. Alan Pounds and Martha L. Crump (1994). "Amphibian Declines and Climate Disturbance: The Case of the Golden Toad and the Harlequin Frog". Conservation Biology 8 (1): 72-85. 

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