Navigation Links
National survey finds frog abnormalities are rare
Date:11/20/2013

A 10-year study shows some good news for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges. The rate of abnormalities such as shortened or missing legs was less than 2 percent overall indicating that the malformations first reported in the mid-1990s were rarer than feared. But much higher rates were found in local "hotspots," suggesting that where these problems occur they have local causes. The results were published Nov. 18 in the journal PLOS ONE.

"We now know what the baseline is and the 2 percent level is relatively good news, but some regions need a deeper look," said Marcel Holyoak, professor of environmental science and policy at the University of California, Davis, and a co-author on the study. Hotspot regions included the Mississippi River Valley, California and south-central and eastern Alaska.

Mari Reeves, a graduate student working with Holyoak, led the data analysis and is corresponding author on the paper. Reeves now works at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

Fieldwork for the study was carried out by the Fish and Wildlife Service at 152 refuges across the country between 2000 and 2009. Researchers collected more than 68,000 frogs and toads for the study. The complete dataset is available to researchers and the public online.

The aim of the study was to understand where and when these abnormalities occur are they widespread, or localized? Are they persistent, or do they appear and fade away? rather than to identify specific causes, Holyoak said. Understanding the patterns of these hotspots in space and time can help researchers home in on likely causes, he said.

The results show that abnormality hotspots occur in specific places, but within these hotspots the rate of malformations can change over time, Holyoak said.

"We see them at an elevated frequency one year or for a few years, and then they recover," he said.

The most common problems observed were missing or shortened toes or legs, and skin cysts. Only 12 cases of frogs with extra legs were found.

Many different potential causes have been put forward for the abnormalities, including pollution from industry or agriculture, parasites, ultraviolet exposure and naturally occurring heavy metals leaching into water bodies. The exact cause may vary from place to place, Holyoak noted.

The study comes against a background of a general decline in amphibian populations both in the U.S. and worldwide. For example, the California red-legged frog celebrated by Mark Twain's story is now listed as threatened. Frogs and toads may be especially sensitive to changes in climate and air or water quality. It's not clear whether hotspots of malformations contribute to this general decline, Holyoak said, but the new dataset will help researchers explore the problem.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. China National Genebank initiates collaboration to sequence transcriptomes of 1,000 fish species
2. Women & Infants earns $3 million grant from National Institutes of Health
3. Antibiotic resistance is a international issue that better education can address
4. NSF, with interagency and international partners, makes first round of grants to understand Arctic sustainability
5. Saddling up against the threat to our National Parks
6. Wollemi National Park bushfires in New South Wales, Australia
7. Population Council to present more than 40 studies at International Conference on Family Planning
8. The China National Genebank accelerates growth by a strategic alliance with BioStorage Technologies
9. International collaboration finds 11 new Alzheimers genes to target for drug discovery
10. National Robotics Initiative grant to create smarter surgical robots
11. Walgreens Mike Ellis Named First President of National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
National survey finds frog abnormalities are rare
(Date:2/14/2017)... Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center ... new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins the medical ... D. McConnell , M.D., who last year announced that ... Medical Center, after leading it since 2008.   ... of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health system, which includes ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017 Former 9/11 ... Senate Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of Identity ... President Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the ... (Jan. 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ,Travel ... Circuit has now essentially banned the travel ban, it ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... LONDON , Feb. 9, 2017 The ... in-depth analysis of the biomass boiler market globally in ... sales of biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers ... product type, end-user, application, and country/region. The market based ... agriculture & forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Academy of ... the world’s leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are launching a joint ... use drones effectively, and support educational outreach efforts. , AMA and DJI will ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Biotherapeutics (OTCMKTS: IMMG), an early-stage biotechnology company harnessing the power ... triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), announced today their completion of ... The YEi Start in France ... their business in France and Europe.  ... complete an intensive one week immersion in France ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... The study ... delivery plasmids, chassis organisms, synthetic cells, production systems), enabling ... bioinformatics and specialty media) and enabled technologies (biofuels, chemicals, ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017 UCHealth ( ... utilize LungDirect for pulmonary nodule patient management. In addition ... or a spot on the lung, UCHealth looks to ... manual data entry. Stephanie Brown, RN ... my nodule patients with an Excel spreadsheet, which was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: