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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…

August 25, 2013: Running Ultramarathons at 18,000 Feet, Meeting Captive Killer Whales, and More

This week, join us as we run a 137-mile race 18,000 feet above sea level, then we meet beach-dwelling wolves that fish for salmon like bears (and occasionally harass humans), and finally, we learn about the SeaWorld orca who has been connected with three human deaths to appreciate how hard the large, social mammals are to maintain in captivity.

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…

Giant salamanders enter Washington breeding program

By Jordan Schaul When I first talked to Senior Curator, Ed Bronikowski at the Smithsonian National Zoo about current and upcoming projects last year he was excited  that the zoo was planning to acquire Japanese giant salamanders    Senior Curator, Ed Bronikowski (Opening of Giant Salamander Breeding Center) Photo Credit: NZP (Andrias japonicus) by the…

NG Weekend: Congo Chimps

On National Geographic Weekend radio this week, host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about chimpanzees, jellyfish, salamanders, polygamists, sea kayaking, coral sex, and more. Hour 1 WCS Conservation Fellow Dave Morgan and his partner Crickette Sanz study chimpanzees in the Congolese rain forest. But a few years ago, the tables were turned when the couple…

New Salamander Discovered Near Georgia Busy Road

A newly discovered salamander, which is the second-smallest salamander species in the U.S. and one of the smallest in the world at just two inches long, could change what scientists know about some amphibians, the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources said today. The new salamander is so distinct that it…

Bait Shops Found to Be Spreading Chytrid and Other Amphibian Diseases

Biologists have discovered that amphibian diseases are spread by bait shops. National Science Foundation illustration by Nicolle Rager-Fuller This post is part of a special National Geographic news series on global water issues. Salamander larvae sold as live bait for freshwater fishing may be spreading amphibian diseases, including the chytrid fungus that is killing many of…

Ten Amphibian Species Discovered in Colombia

Species of rain frog potentially new to science. Conservation International-Colombia/Photo by Marco Rada Ten amphibians believed to be new to science — including a spiky-skinned, orange-legged rain frog, three poison frogs and three glass frogs — have been found in Colombia’s mountainous Tacarcuna area of the Darien, near the border with Panama, Conservation International announced…

Golf Courses Can Be Wildlife Havens, Researchers Say

Photo by James L. Amos/NGS The United States is one of the great golfing nations of the world. But the many thousands of golf courses that dot the urban landscape are not without their critics. Environmentalists have decried the amount of water sometimes required to keep fairways and greens lush, especially in places that are…