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Atelopus or harlequin frogs

  • IASbaba
  • November 12, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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Context: Ecologists at Michigan State University (MSU) and collaborators in Ecuador have found 32 species of an amphibian genus — Atelopus or harlequin frogs — still surviving in the wild.

  • Since the 1980s, a fungus called Bd — short for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis — has been killing off members of more than 500 species of amphibians.
  • Humans are responsible for the spread the fungus around the world.
  • The harlequin frog genus was hit exceptionally hard by the fungus.
  • Over the past four decades 80 per cent of its species were driven to extinction.

About Atelopus:

  • Atelopus is a large genus of Bufonidae, commonly known as harlequin frogs or toads, from Central and South America, ranging as far north as Costa Rica and as far south as Bolivia.
  • Atelopus species are small, generally brightly coloured, and diurnal.
  • Most species are associated with mid-to-high elevation streams.
  • This genus has been greatly affected by amphibian declines, and many species are now considered endangered, while others already are extinct.
  • While threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and introduced species, the primary cause of these declines appears to be the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Source: DownToEarth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following is not a bird? (2022)

  1. Golden Mahseer
  2. Indian Nightjar
  3. Spoonbill
  4. White Ibis

Q.2) Certain species of which one of the following organisms are well known as cultivators of

fungi? (2022)

  1. Ant
  2. Cockroach
  3. Crab
  4. Spider

 

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