Salamander Population Declining in Central America


Hard Times for Amphibians
It isn't only frog populations that are in decline (though in some places like Australia it's the inverse problem). Salamander populations have plummeted too according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.

From the University of California, Berkeley release:

By comparing tropical salamander populations in Central America today with results of surveys conducted between 1969 and 1978, UC Berkeley researchers have found that populations of many of the commonest salamanders have steeply declined.

On the flanks of the Tajumulco volcano on the west coast of Guatemala, for example, two of the three commonest species 40 years ago have disappeared, while the third was nearly impossible to find.


Not Exactly Like Frogs
But unlike frogs, the decline in salamander numbers isn't attributed primarily to habitat destruction, pesticides or new predators. The main suspect is global warming. The reason is that most salamanders live in narrow altitude bands, and if the area warms up too much, they might end up with nowhere to go.

One logical conclusion of this is: Even protected nature reserves can't protect animals from climate change, and to avoid these types of extinctions, more will need to be done on that front.

Via EurekAlert
Photo: First from Flickr, CC. Second from Flickr, CC.
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Tags: Animals | Global Warming Effects