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Posted by Colchicine on December 19, 2002 at 21:58:20:
In Reply to: Re: Amphibian Decline posted by Clintsky on December 19, 2002 at 20:28:27:
I have not problems with sacrificing one toad to save hundreds. In fact, I keep only toads as I find that the shed skin is best for scenting.
As far as your observations. What I can say is that the literature I have read on amphibian populations often contradict any qualitative observations. Amphibians are subject to extreme population fluctuations and the observations from any one year probably are not indicative of the population on an average. I have often explained to people on these forums who have lesser understanding of ecology than you, that casual observations are no replacement of research conducted with scientific methods, nor will it ever discredit the mountains of literature produced on the subject over the last 20 yrs. If amphibian populations are stable or increasing in your area, then that is fantastic. But I don't think that alone should be a deciding factor in your belief of amphibian decline! In fact, perceived abundance (or even presence) is no indicator of population stability. Recent studies on the common herbicide, atrazine, and shown that extremely low concentrations of the chemical can cause hermaphroditism in males. Anybody making casual observations could easily say these frogs are not in danger, when in fact the males are virtually useless to the population because of their sterility. In no way should the deformed males be counted as a credit towards the species population.