The dyeing dart frog (Dendrobates tinctorius),
so-called because of its vivid colors, is the largest species of dart frog, growing up to 2 inches (50 millimeters) long. The frogs' variety of colors and patterns can be attributed to their patchy distribution across the highlands of northeast South America.
More than a third of the 5,743 known species of amphibiansincluding the dyeing dart frogare listed on the Switzerland-based World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species. Amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders are undergoing rapid population declines, most likely due to fungal disease, climate change, habitat loss, and pollution.
A report in last week's issue of the journal Science
proposes that the World Conservation Union, known as IUCN, lead an Amphibian Survival Alliance. This team would coordinate international research, conservation, and policy-making to stem what IUCN calls the global crisis of amphibian decline.
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Photograph courtesy Ron D. Holt