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What are the leading causes of frog declines and deformities?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Danielle Eganhouse. Today's question is about amphibians.

What are the leading causes of frog declines and deformities?

There does not appear to be one "smoking gun"; numerous environmental factors are probably responsible for the declines and deformities. Limited research findings and anecdotal information suggest several possible causes, including habitat loss, introduction of non-native predators such as fishes and bullfrogs, disease, and possibly airborne contaminants. Scientists who have studied amphibian declines and deformities agree that the deformities are unlikely to have caused the extensive, well-documented declines of many amphibian species worldwide. Deformities in different localities probably have different causes. Recent USGS research indicates that some malformations may have both site-specific and time-dependent causes.

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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Title: What are the leading causes of frog declines and deformities?

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Date Recorded: 7/8/2008

Usage: This audio file is public domain/of free use unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this audio.

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Tags: 2008 July amphibians biology frogs



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