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Conservation Success for Threatened Species

With all the news of threats to biodiversity and species out there, sometimes it’s tough to remember that conservation succeeds. In 2013, fifteen species had their conservation status genuinely downgraded to lower threat categories on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This means that there was sufficient evidence that their populations were increasing and…

Geography in the News: Tragic Deaths of Amphibians

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Dying Frogs, Salamanders, and Other Amphibians A deadly fungus is attacking Earth’s amphibian species. Unfortunately, the disease seems to be winning and its price may be the extinction of frogs, toads and salamanders. The disease, called chytridiomycosis, or chytrid for short, has been decimating…

Defending Madagascar’s Frogs From Invading Fungus

By Jonathan Kolby It all started as an idea one afternoon seven years ago.  Having recently learned about the devastating amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd) that was spreading globally and causing irreparable damage to the world’s amphibian biodiversity, I felt there must be something more I could personally do to help save the…

Extinct “Devil Frog” Sported Spikes, Body Armor

Sporting elaborate spikes and body armor, the extinct amphibian was even more terrifying than previously thought, a new study says.

Forests and Flying Frogs: New Friends in Far Away Places

My passion for amphibians and their conservation brought me to this mountainous region in Vietnam in search of amphibians, but this post is about people.

The Hidden World of Mozambique’s Sky Island Forests

PROJECT UPDATE: Civil unrest in Mozambique for the first time in 21 years has brought threat of civil war. We are therefore postponing the field work until February in the hopes that things will be settled and the roads passable by then.

Forests and Flying Frogs: Surprise Sinkholes

The limestone terrain gets even more challenging during an expedition in search of rare, poorly-known and previously unknown species of amphibians in northern Vietnam.

Forests and Flying Frogs: The Adventure Begins

An expedition in search of rare, poorly-known and previously unknown species of amphibian starts off in some seriously difficult terrain in northern Vietnam.

Rare Giant Salamanders Bred in Captivity

The five-foot long amphibian, native to Japan, has been bred in captivity for only the second time in history, experts say.

Flying Frog Photo-Bombs Rocket Launch

Less than a week after NASA launched its latest moon orbiter, the world appears to be abuzz, not about the mission, but about a tiny airborne frog that photo-bombed the liftoff photos. Late last Friday, September 6, the 70-foot (21-meter) high Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA’s car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifted…

Misty Mountains and Moss Frogs: The Road Home

The leeches, bruises and bites are rough, but the frogs make it all worthwhile! With the expedition in search of amphibians in northern Vietnam at an end, the team packs up and takes on the bumpy road once again.

Missing “Rain Frog” Resurfaces in Honduras: Freshwater Species of the Week

In 2008, National Geographic Young Explorer Jonathan Kolby re-discovered a frog species endemic to Honduras that had been declared extinct. The amphibian had vanished mysteriously in the mid 1980s. Now, the Australia-based Kolby told us via email, “I’ve been searching for more proof of its existence every year since, and finally found a second one a…

Misty Mountains and Moss Frogs: Moving Camp During a Torrential Downpour

Nursing bumps. bruises, cuts and scrapes, we haul our gear down the mountain on slick mud in the pouring rain so that we can search for frogs and other amphibians further afield in northern Vietnam.

Hellbenders Reintroduced in New York: Freshwater Species of the Week

The Eastern hellbender–also called a snot otter, devil dog, mud dog, grampus, or Allegheny alligator–is one of the world’s largest species of salamander. The animal, formally Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, has been declining and is officially listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Much larger than any other salamanders in their range, hellbenders…

How Arctic Frogs Survive Being Frozen Alive

Scientists have figured out how Alaskan wood frogs can freeze solid and stop breathing—yet still bounce back to life.