31 October 2011

Have I Got Newts for You - October News

Your monthly round up of reptile and amphibian news from around the world, spotted by Froglife’s Conservation Communication Officer Lucy Benyon.

How climate change could cause amphibian extinctions
Researchers at Brown University have been looking at the impact of climate change on amphibian movements. Researchers argue that whether an animal can make it to a final, climate-friendly destination isn’t simply matter of whether they can travel, but whether they can withstand the rapid fluctuations in climate along the way. Using climate forecasting models, it was determined that more than half of 15 amphibian species in the western United States would become extinct or endangered.
Source: Irish Weather Online

Florida’s invasion problem
Florida’s native ecosystems are currently battling 137 non-native reptiles and amphibians species introduced in the last 150 years. 25% have been traced back to just one importer, and pets, such as Burmese pythons too large for their owners to cope with, are a major factor
Source: Wildlife Extra

Frogs on roads
Amphibians on the other side of the world are currently emerging to breed and facing familiar problems to UK species. In Taiwan a local ‘eco group’ has been set up to help Sauteris frogs as they migrate across roads to their breeding ponds in the Tashapei region of Hsinchu County.
Source: Taipei Times & BBC News

Lizards vs Oil
Environmental groups in America are pushing for the small dunes sagebrush lizard to be added to the Endangered Species List, giving it federal protection. However, opponents say this could endanger oil production as the lizard is dependent on shinnery oak which only grows in New Mexico and Texas – these areas are also home to the richest resources of oil and gas in the USA.
Source: Fox News

Another reptile declared extinct but elsewhere two new species of amphibian are discovered!
There was sad news from the USA this month when the South Florida Rainbow snake was finally declared extinct after not being recorded since 1952. But there was good news from Australia where two new species of boulder-dwelling frog have been discovered in Queensland. The golden-capped boulder frog and kutini boulder frog are both around 5cm long, giants compared to their rainforest-dwelling cousins who rarely reach more than 2cm.
Source: Wildlife Extra & Australian Geographic

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