Endangered Frogs in California
For decades, the population of frogs and other amphibians has been in a state of decline. Animal species endangerment is a major environmental problem. One third of the world’s nearly 6,000 amphibian species are facing endangerment (Biemer, 2006). Environmentalists in California want to protect frogs because they hate to see any creature vanish from the earth. They are also concerned that other amphibians will become endangered too. It’s the environmentalist’s duty to prevent this from happening. Amphibians are animals that live both on land and in water. Some examples of endangered frogs in California are Red-Legged Frog, Yosemite Toads, The Arroyo Toads, The Golden Toads, The Pacific Tree Frog, The Large White’s Tree Frog, and The Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog.
According to Perry (2006), the reasons that frogs have become endangered species are due to cold weather and a fatal kind of fungus. Another research report shows that “A variety of factors are thought to be involved, including climate change, ultraviolet radiation, diseases, parasites, and habitat destruction,” (Cone, 2006, page 14). Fragmentation of habitat to produce deleterious areas and demographic affects, overexploitation, the spread of exotic species, and pollution are reasons for frog’s endangerment (Phillips,1994, page 62). First, during cold weather frogs can’t survive in winter especially in California. The California winters are very cold. If frogs have their eggs in the winter season, they will be lucky if baby frogs survive. Secondly, deadly fatal fungus can spread very rapidly among frogs. It is dangerous if only one frog becomes sick due to this fungus because all frogs in that particular habitat will die. The third cause of frogs becoming endangered maybe climate change. It has a significant possibility of detrimentally affecting the frogs’ future. According to Phillips (1994), the California red-legged frog is estimated to have disappeared from over 99 percent of the inland parts of California and southern California localities within its historic range and at least 75 percent of all localities within it’s entire historic range.
The fourth reason is ultraviolet radiation that has been sent by the sun. It damages the eggs of frogs and it causes overall amphibian decline. Eventually, ultraviolet radiation will be not only a threat for frogs, but also for humankind. A study found that the northern red-legged frogs lay about 680 eggs, and that those eggs have a 91-pecent chance of hatching. However, the tadpoles have only about a 5-percent chance of actually making it to metamorphosis and the only difference between these kinds of frogs is that the first one is immune against the ultraviolet radiation unlike the second one (Phillips, 1994). The fifth reason is due to pollution. Any kind of pollution will affect the life of any species, including frogs. Air and water pollution are the most dangerous types of pollution for frogs, especially in a big state such as California. The frogs are more likely to die from the pollution. If frogs are in a polluted environment, they will vanish for sure. Finally, habitat destruction is a severe threat. The environment that contains frogs such as the mountain yellow-legged frog and the red-legged frog will die either from the destruction that happens in the habitat or the changes in the environment if frogs have been removed to another habitat until environmentalists create a new appropriate habitat instead of the last one which have been destroyed.
Frogs have an important role in the environment. For instance, frogs get rid of insects, bugs, and mosquitoes that are dominating the earth in huge numbers. Frogs catch the insects with their tongues and then swallow them. “The bug population in California has been going crazy.” (Perry, 2006, page 2). Because insects are known for their huge amount of eggs and only one bug can has hundred of eggs at one time. Another benefit is that people like to hunt some species of amphibians. Hunting frogs is popular and selling them with expensive price tags to the people who like to eat and watch frogs or other amphibian species is popular too (Phillips, 1994). Cheng Lai is one of two people in Los Angeles who regularly imports live frogs for the food industry. He sells his frogs to ethnic restaurants such as Chinese food restaurant. He can sell the frogs for three dollars to six dollars a pound. A two thousand frog shipment could bring in $ 3,000 to $ 6,000 dollars to him but only if they are still alive (Phillips, 1994). In addition, people find it fun to watch frogs near to lakes when they are relaxing.
There are some people who don’t care about these benefits and they would love to see frogs decrease. The Home Builders Association of Northern California complains that due to environmentalists wanting to protect the endangered frogs in California, they are asking for too much land to provide an appropriate and safe habitat for the frogs. The Home Builders Association of Northern California wants to decrease the amount of the land that have been given to the environment by the government. The Home Builders Association of Northern California is worried about the future citizens of California (Hoge, 2006). Moreover, there are the concerned environmentalists who focus on other species. These people don’t want an increase in the land given to the environmentalists who are concerned about frogs and are not concerned about the need for a huge place for the frog’s recovery. However, environmentalists who are concerned about other species are afraid that all the land will go to the benefits of frogs. If they are really concerned about animals, they will have sympathy for frogs too because, after all, they are wonderful species.
The fact that frogs are endangered is an apparent. We are already losing thousands of frogs and other amphibians each year. People can help and protect frogs by taking care of them and not touching and playing with frogs when they see them. In addition, hunters of amphibians should diminish their activities for a while. Stopping the hunting activities of frogs will be a great step. People can make a difference; they just have to try to improve the environment for frogs and other wonderful species that are endangered. Not just a few people, but all of us together. For instance, we can give a small donation to the environmentalists who are concerned about frogs. They can use it to help the frogs and to protect them at the same time. According to Biemer (2006), the total coast of holding 600 species captive to protect them will run about 60 million dollars. It’s a realistic bargain compared to the costs of other endangered animals such as elephants and pandas.
In conclusion, frogs are decreasing and now after we discovered the reasons people can and should help to improve the environment for frogs and other species. We don’t want frogs to vanish from the earth. We discovered the reasons that caused the endangerment of frogs and we have to prevent it. Also, we have to be careful with other species that have a lot to offer to the environment. Putting programs together that help to improve the environmental situation in general is always a good idea. Frogs are great creatures. I hope that their gentle calls of peep-peep-peep can still be heard during the night in the future. People who are concerned about the environment want only to protect the environment in general. They want to change the environment for the better and they are always worried about the environmental protection issues and obstacles that the environment faces. However, we all must remember that frogs are part of that environment.