30 December 2009


Visiting the web site "Frogs: A Chorus of Colors" is a delightful experience, like the actual exhibition itself held at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for the last days (up to January 3rd, 2010).

Enter this web site to enjoy the diversity of frogs and to feed your knowledge on this interesting and threatened group of vertebrates.

The site includes a beautiful series of frogs  (mostly tropical), part of a large collection that includes more than 70 frog species at the exhibition. Through a collection of live-pictured specimens, the web site teaches you  through tips on aspects like amphibian evolution, reproduction, ecology facts, global declines, details on morphology, and much, much more. Enhance your knowledge on frogs by also reading a large list of “frog fun facts”.

To learn more, visit the section on the herpetological holdings at the AMNH, and the research that is or has been carried out by the museum around the World (mostly on tropical countries).

Do not miss a terrarium with a real-time live web cam, where you can see frogs in action. And to close your multimedia experience, listen to the calls of different tropical frog species. This site is a must for frog lovers!

20 December 2009

May 2010 Course: Species Monitoring and Conservation

Location: National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center, Front Royal, Virginia, USA.
Dates: 16-28 May 2010.

Subject: Latest methodologies and approaches to biodiversity assessment and monitoring with a special emphasis on amphibians.
  • Field assessment and monitoring techniques such as call surveys, artificial cover, drift fences and pitfall, mark and recaptures, transects and plots, and larvae surveys.
  • Amphibian identification, taxonomy, and collection.
  • Captive breeding and animal husbandry.
  • Wildlife toxicology.
  • Disease and pathology.
  • Genetics.

Amphibians and Reptiles of Northeast India

A photographic guide to the herpetofauna of Northeast India, part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot. The book covers more than 100 species with more than 250 photographs. Taxa covered:
  • 29 amphibians
  • 1 crocodile (gharial)
  • 21 fresh water turtles and tortoises
  • 29 snakes
  • 23 lizards 
The guide includes a snake-bite section, as well as data on geographic distribution, natural history, taxonomic characters useful for identification, and conservation status of the herp species.
For more information, and to order copies of the book, visit: Aaranyak

19 December 2009


Likely, this is the most complete guide to the amphibian fauna for a tropical protected area. This book covers 48 species of frogs, toads and caecilians living in the Kaieteur National Park (Guyana).

Each of the species is beautifully illustrated with pictures of the live animal, and plates pointing to distinguishing features that facilitates field identification. The vast majority of the species also has color illustrations showing oscillograms and spectrograms of advertisement calls.

A complete fully illustrated section is devoted to key features of adult and larval stages, which is the most complete and detailed modern guide on external morphological characteristics for amphibian species, of ample utility to workers in other tropical places.

The book also provides useful information on methods and techniques to perform taxonomic studies, surpassing the usual information on collecting, preserving and gathering data on the specimens, to offer valuable data and tips on personal equipment to carry to the field, photography, recording of calls, and much more.

This book will be the delight of professionals, students and lay people alike, and a “jewel book” to collectors.

To order the book or to download low and high resolution pdfs, go to : Abc Taxa

14 December 2009



2010 the International Year of Biodiversity

Amphibians and reptiles losses in the last decades are just part of a biodiversity crisis affecting the World. Habitat destruction and climate change are among the main culprits affecting these groups, as well as the rest of variety of life on Earth.
To raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity, as well as to take actions to preserve it, the United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). The later will provide an opportunity for the World to strengthen efforts to understand and preserve biodiversity and the services it provides for human well-being. Even though we have failed to properly administrate the World’s biodiversity, it is our responsibility to study, protect and preserve it for future generations. And this has to be done with urgency!
To read on the IYB, visit:

07 December 2009


Atrazine is a herbicide widely used on crop fields around the World to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. The negative effects that this commonly used agro-chemical pesticide have on frogs received high scientific and general public attention in 2002. Nonetheless, a previous study by Diana et al. (2000) had already highlighted that high concentrations of Atrazine in artificial aquatic communities resulted in frogs with a decrease in length and weight at metamorphosis, which may result in fitness reduction.

The studies by Tyrone Hayes and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 2002, demonstrated that exposure of frogs to low levels of Atrazine induced abnormalities such as retarded development and hermaphroditism. The findings of impaired reproductive function suggested that natural frog populations exposed to this herbicide may suffer declines.  However, investigations by other research teams, including Syngenta, the principal Atrazine registrant, reported no adverse effects.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), based on a review of laboratory and field studies, concluded (2007) that Atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development. Beginning this fall (2009), EPA started a comprehensive reevaluation of Atrazine’s ecological effects, including potential effects on amphibians and human health.

Atrazine was recently shown by Suzawa and Ingraham (2008) to potentially disrupt normal endocrine development and function in lower and higher vertebrates. And this month (2009), it was released a study performed by researchers at the University of Otawa, Canada, which found that Atrazine alters the sexual development and had a feminizing effect on studied frogs, resulting in sex ratios favoring females, with a reduced number of males. The issue is back!

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