Tag Archives: Amphibians

El Yunque: In Search of Coqui

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After several Google searches and a few beers we decided on a trip to Puerto Rico to see the iconic Coqui frog. Neither Andy nor I had ever visited the Caribbean before; therefore, we had no preconceived notions of what to expect. We knew there would be beautiful beaches surrounded by sky-blue water and a rainforest, and that was good… Read more »

Dispelling Wildlife Myths- Halloween Edition

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With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it the perfect time to address some common misunderstandings about wildlife.  We have all heard them.  Whether they are called myths or Old Wives Tales most false accusations conjure up fear that sometimes result in the persecution and death of many innocent species. How many times have you heard someone say that… Read more »

Animal Extinctions: What Can We Learn From Past Mistakes

Across the globe animal species are going extinct.  From such contributing factors such as disease, persecution, poaching, displacement, and habitat destruction, we are losing some of our most amazing creatures at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, species extinctions are nothing new.  But can we learn from past mistakes to ensure more magnificent animals do not do the way of the dodo?… Read more »

The Importance of Citizen Scientists

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As science itself evolves, a new way of conducting research is emerging.  Although a newly coined phrase, Citizen Scientists have been around for a very long time, lending a helping hand to researchers around the globe.  Although these individuals may lack a formal education, what they do not lack is passion and enthusiasm.  Participation of Citizen Scientists essential allows scientists… Read more »

Chrysosporium in the Massasauga Rattlesnake

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A deadly threat has been identified in a Southern Illinois population of Massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus).  In 2008, biologists found 3 eastern massasaugas with disfiguring lesions on and around their head.  In addition, the snakes had multiple growths and ulcers, and experienced swelling that extended throughout the skin and skeletal muscle.  Another massasauga with a similar condition was documented in… Read more »

Invasion of the Habitat Snatchers

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Non-native or invasive species are finding their way into ecosystems all around the world.  Regardless if they are being purposefully introduced by biologists to predate on a more destructive non-native or to enhance a biological area, or if they are being released by irresponsible pet owners, non-natives threaten native species.  More importantly, invasive species not only pose a risk to… Read more »

Habitat Preservation and the Discovery of New Species

It is hard to believe that in a world where the human population now exceeds 7 billion, that there are still unexplored wild areas, and new plant and animal species being discovered.  I think it is easy to understand the importance of preserving oceans, jungles, rainforests, grasslands, and deserts (yes, even deserts) for the known species that inhabit them, but… Read more »

Snakes, Spiders, and Bats…Oh My!

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In preparation for my favorite holiday, I was recently perusing through the Halloween decorations at a local megastore.  For me, Halloween standards are carved pumpkins, bed sheet ghosts, and candy; lots of candy.  However, for others, the scariest of holidays is all about fear.  Some of the most iconic Halloween characters that makes ones blood run cold and stand frozen… Read more »

Chytrid Fungus and the Global Decline of Amphibians

Recently, I had the privilege of spending time with a biologist studying the impact of the chytrid fungus on amphibian populations, as well as some of the beautiful Panamanian Golden Frogs (Atelopus zeteki) in her study.  Chytrid is a type of fungus that is exclusively found in water or in moist environments.  Although there are over 1,000 identified chytrid species… Read more »