Amphibian Decline – Parasites and Increased UV Radiation

© 1999 by Linda Moulton Howe

May 27, 1999  Corvallis, Oregon - A headline in the Environment section of the October 28, 1996 Time magazine said, "Trouble in the Lily Pads - Something ominous is happening to Minnesota's frogs - and it's spreading." Amphibians are particularly sensitive to environmental changes and pollution because they live in water and on land and breathe through their skin. So, like a canary in a miner's cage that will die before the miner does if the air is bad, frogs, toads and salamanders are signaling that something is wrong in our world.

The problem was first noticed in 1995 when school children in Minnesota found deformed frogs. Some were missing a leg, some had withered arms, others had shrunken eyes or none at all. One had nine legs and another had three eyes, one in the back of its throat.

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