Vanishing cricket frogs get a look

Jun 25, 2006

Researchers in the Chicago area are trying to track the vanishing population of cricket frogs, once so common they were hardly ever studied.

The pint-sized cricket frog used to be all over the Midwest, wherever mud and ponds could be found.

But researchers noticed they were quickly becoming scarce. This year a few were found in spring counts of wildlife in the northern Illinois, sparking a rush to study them, at least to find out why they disappeared if not to begin conservation efforts, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The cricket frogs aren't near extinction and are still heavily found in the U.S. south, but 120 amphibian species have died off worldwide since 1980.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researcher Val Beasley said the cricket frogs are susceptible to environmental changes. Pollution, especially, but any change could alter their living patterns.

Now conservation groups are tracking them and conferences focus on them.

Illinois Natural History Survey herpetologist Christopher Phillips said, "Our ignorance of the life history of this species became really obvious when we started trying to study them."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Small, fast, and crowded: Mammal traits amplify tick-borne illness

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Marmoset monkeys know polite conversation

Oct 17, 2013

Humans aren't the only species that knows how to carry on polite conversation. Marmoset monkeys, too, will engage one another for up to 30 minutes at a time in vocal turn-taking, according to evidence reported in the Cell ...

N.C.'s Southern Cricket Frog populations declining

Jul 10, 2013

A recent U.S. Geological Survey report confirmed that the nation's amphibians, including frogs, toads and salamanders, are disappearing "at an alarming and rapid rate." A biologist at the University of North ...

Recommended for you

Dwindling wind may tip predator-prey balance

7 hours ago

Bent and tossed by the wind, a field of soybean plants presents a challenge for an Asian lady beetle on the hunt for aphids. But what if the air—and the soybeans—were still?

Environmental pollutants make worms susceptible to cold

12 hours ago

Some pollutants are more harmful in a cold climate than in a hot, because they affect the temperature sensitivity of certain organisms. Now researchers from Danish universities have demonstrated how this ...

Research helps steer mites from bees

14 hours ago

A Simon Fraser University chemistry professor has found a way to sway mites from their damaging effects on bees that care and feed the all-important queen bee.

User comments : 0