Salamanders declining rapidly in Central America
Salamanders are declining rapidly in areas like Central America, and scientists studying them have attributed this to global warming. Two species are already extinct and a few others are losing numbers so quickly that they look like they are heading towards extinction as well.
Just like some frogs, a type of fungus, called chytrid, seems to be responsible for this decline, but it could also be global warming.
However, according to David Wake, a scientists studying them in Central America, neither of these factors could be responsible for the popultion in that area.
In the 1970s, Wake spent several years researching lungless salamanders in the San Marcos region of western Guatemala, one of the most diverse and well-studied salamander communities in the American tropics.
Between 2005 and 2007, he and colleagues returned to that region and previous study sites in Mexico to survey salamanders and compare their results to the historical data.
Their data-collecting strategy remained the same: Spot as many salamanders as possible in a standard amount of time.
The numbers recorded this time are shocking - some species that could be seen 10 to 15 times an hour, are now not seen at all.