Wednesday, March 15, 2006

 

Vanishing toads could portend extinction crisis

"OSLO (Reuters) - Exotic frogs and toads are dying out in the jungles of Latin America, apparent victims of global warming in what might be a harbinger of one of the worst waves of extinction since the dinosaurs.

Accelerating extinctions would derail a
United Nations goal of "a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss" by 2010. That target will be reviewed at a U.N. meeting of environment ministers in Curitiba, Brazil, on March 20-31.

"We are facing an extinction crisis," said Anne Larigauderie, head of Paris-based Diversitas which promotes research into life on the planet.

She estimated the rate of loss of all species was now 10-100 times faster than little-understood rates from fossil records. "

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