Warmists foiled again: Answer to what's causing frog populations to decline is just plain embarrassing
You know the drill because we've seen the same story so many times. Reports come in that scientists have discovered declining populations of a species of some sort somewhere.
For quite some time, they come up with no good answer. Concern grows.
For maximum publicity and popular hand-wringing, it helps to be cuddly, cute, exotic, beautiful, or funny critters. But even if they are repulsive, sooner or later, global warming is blamed.
Conclusion: We're doomed! Because science.
Apply this model to the following account drawn from West Hunter:
Starting in late 80s, herpetologists began noticing that various kinds of frogs were declining and/or disappearing. There was & is a geographical pattern: Wiki says "Declines have been particularly intense in the western United States, Central America, South America, eastern Australia and Fiji. ...
For a few years the herpetologists were concerned yet happy. Concerned, because many frog populations were crashing and some were going extinct. Happy, because confused puppies in Washington were giving them money, something that hardly ever happens to frogmen. ...
Possibly frogs were being killed by an increase in UV radiation (from CFCs). Of course you could always put out a [f‑‑‑‑‑‑] ultraviolet photometer and measure the UV anywhere and anytime you wanted, but that would be the easy way out. Why do that when you could be paying graduate students to play with frogs?
Here I must add this popularization of the issue coming from the animal popularizers at National Geographic:
Global warming may cause widespread amphibian extinctions by triggering lethal epidemics, a new study reports.
Time out. Back to West Hunter:
In 1993, people discovered an odd fungus [Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis] infecting frogs in Queensland. Since then it has been linked to many dramatic population declines in "western North America, Central America, South America, eastern Australia, East Africa (Tanzania) and Dominica and Montserrat." Some species it bops, others it exterminates. Frog species with few offspring and high parental investment, such as mouth-breeding frogs, seem particularly vulnerable. It works like an STD, which can propagate when population density is low. Frogs congregate in ponds to mate, which allows transmission, as long as the frogs mate at all.
Photo credit: Max Pixel.
It took some time for herpetologists to admit that this chytrid fungus is the main culprit – some are still resisting. First, it was a lot like how doctors resisted Semmelweiss' discoveries about the cause of puerperal fever – since doctors were the main method of transmission. How did this fungus get to the cloud forests of Costa Rica? On the boots of herpetologists, of course. [Emphasis added.]
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman