Publication Date: June 17, 2003
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From deep in the rain forests of Central America to the backyard ponds of Minnesota, alarming accounts of disappearing and deformed populations of amphibians keep surfacing in the media. The amphibian crisis has been headline news from New York to Europe to Australia, featuring pictures of grotesque frogs and reports from scientists visiting once healthy ponds only to find them absent of amphibian life.
What about these stories is real and what is media hype? Should valuable time and resources be allocated to uncovering why some populations produce five-legged frogs—or is it a natural aberration? Is the loss of ozone a threat to amphibians globally or can depleted populations be explained by other factors? Leading amphibian biologist Raymond D. Semlitsch has assembled experts to tackle these timely and sometimes tricky issues. What were once seen as likely causes now appear to be inadequate explanations, and Semlitsch and his colleagues take us closer to the truth as they explore the amphibian crisis point by point. Every environmentalist will find Amphibian Conservation an accessible and deeply informative examination of what many scientists have called one of the major threats to the world's biodiversity.
Raymond D. Semlitsch is associate professor of biology and director of the Conservation Biology Program at the University of Missouri.