Target: Greg Hunt, Australian Minister for the Environment
Goal: Increase conservation efforts to protect Australia’s endangered frogs from being killed off by a deadly fungus.
Seven species of frogs are on the brink of extinction in Australia due to the spread of a deadly chytrid fungus. The highly infectious fungus attacks the keratin in frogs’ skin, and since frogs breathe through their skin this is highly problematic for their respiratory abilities. Several frog species have already died out, and environmental scientists warn that many others will follow unless there is extensive research and a major conservation effort.
Australia’s native frogs have been experiencing a rapid decline due to pollution, habitat loss, and climate change, and the added threat of the chytrid fungus may be enough to push these endangered species into extinction. The list of threatened species includes the southern and northern corroboree frogs, the Tasmanian tree frog, the Baw Baw frog, and the spotted tree frog among others. According to Wildlife Research, each of these species has a wild population of less than 2,000, while the southern corroboree frog may number fewer than 50. While nearly all of these species are recognized as endangered, biologists are saying that conservation efforts have been neglected.
Lee Berger, a senior research fellow at James Cook University, has published a study along with his colleagues that calls for increased funding for research, monitoring, and protective conservation efforts to protect these threatened frog species. Australia’s wildlife conservation efforts have been struggling in recent years due to slashed budgets, so it is vitally important that awareness is raised to keep these endangered species from extinction. Sign the petition below to urge the Australian government to increase conservation efforts and keep the country’s frogs from dying out.
Dear Mr. Hunt,
Seven species of frogs are facing a conservation crisis in Australia due to the spread of the highly infectious chytrid fungus, which fatally damages their respiratory functions. Several species have already died out, and now the list of threatened species includes the southern and northern corroboree frogs, the Tasmanian tree frog, the spotted tree frog, and the Baw Baw frog, each of which has a wild population of less than 2,000.
Nearly all of these species were already endangered due to habitat loss, climate change, and pollution; the added threat of the chytrid fungus is quickly pushing them toward extinction. Lee Berger and several other wildlife biologists have published a study that highlights the need to increase monitoring and research efforts in order to fully understand the threat these frog species are facing. Captive breeding programs would make a huge difference in boosting population numbers, and a greater conservation effort is necessary to keep these species from dying out.
I am urging you to provide funding in order to increase protections for Australia’s frog species. Please take action to fight the threat of the chytrid fungus, and save these species from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Australian Alps