The Sad Present & Future Status of the Mountain-Dwelling Cascades Frog


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 26 January 2019

MOUNTAIN FROG NEWS

The Mountain-Dwelling Cascades Frog
The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions. SFU, Simon Fraser University.
The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions. Credit to Simon Fraser University.

 

Drier mountains pose a double whammy for cold-adapted amphibians, says SFU study,
Simon Fraser University, January 25, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Extreme Frog
“The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions, ranging from dozens of feet of snow in winter to temperatures in excess of 90°F in summer.”

“...explosive breeders and their role as predators of flying insects is critical to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.”

Goal
Aquatic & Terrestrial Effects of Warming
“...understand the effects of climate change on these unique amphibians…how the warmer and drier temperatures occurring with climate change affect the survival of two distinct aspects of the frog's life cycle: in the aquatic stage where the frogs develop as tadpoles in shallow ponds, and in the terrestrial environment stage where they live as adults.”

Aquatic Warming
“...up to a quarter of the tadpoles are stranded and die each year. Applying projections from hydrologists from the universities of Washington and Notre Dame, the researchers predict that nearly 40 per cent of the tadpoles could be lost by the 2080s as a result of dry ponds.”

Terrestrial Warming
“Data showed that thinner snow-packs and warmer summer temperatures actually reduced adult survival.”

Conclusion
62% Chance of Extinction by 2080s
“...together, the researchers forecast that the Cascades frog will have a 62 per cent chance of extinction risk by the 2080s.”

“...an emerging picture of climate change in the Pacific Northwest where, as a result of warmer temperatures, precipitation will fall more often as rain rather than snow, leading to longer, drier summers with compounding negative consequences for many wildlife species.”

 

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