Home Latest News Dominica’s mountain chicken frog vanishes from island in ‘fastest extinction ever recorded’ – Times of India

Dominica’s mountain chicken frog vanishes from island in ‘fastest extinction ever recorded’ – Times of India

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Dominica’s mountain chicken frog vanishes from island in ‘fastest extinction ever recorded’ – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The mountain chicken frog, once a staple in Dominica’s national cuisine, has virtually vanished from the island as the sizable frog species, known for being one of the world’s largest, has seen a catastrophic decline, reported The Guardian.
What was once a thriving population, numbering in the hundreds of thousands and enjoyed as a delicacy, has dwindled to an alarming 21 frogs, as per the latest scientific survey.
The rapid and dramatic decline has left biologists astounded, as it is believed to be one of the “fastest extinctions” of a wild animal ever documented. This alarming situation highlights the alarming speed at which wildlife can be harmed and pushed to the brink of extinction due to ecological disasters.
“This is an amazing animal,” said Andrew Cunningham, head of wildlife epidemiology for the Zoological Society London (ZSL) told The Guardian.
“It can grow to around 20cm in length and weigh more than a kilo. Both males and females play important roles in raising their young and it was one of Dominica’s top predators that ate insects, small mammals, snakes – and other frogs,” he added.
“Today there is only silence. This is a species facing imminent extinction in the wild, yet it was in a healthy state only a couple of decades ago. Its fate sends us a very clear warning about the dangers facing wildlife on Earth today,” he said.
The mountain chicken frog’s troubles began with the arrival of a chytrid fungus in the last century. This fungus invades amphibians through their skin, a vital part of their respiration and hydration. Once infected, frogs become sluggish and often perish within a month.
While the fungus has caused significant declines in amphibian populations globally, Dominica stands out as a place where its impact has been swift and devastating. Within just 18 months of its first appearance in 2002, this fungal invader wiped out 80% of the mountain chicken frog population on the island.



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