The Vanishing: National Geographic (Feature Article, April)

We are witnessing a mass extinction. An exotic fungus is delivering the fatal blow to many amphibians already hit by habitat loss, pollution, and climate change.

He grips his mate, front legs clasped tight around her torso. Splayed beneath him like an open hand, she lies with her egg-heavy belly soaking in the shallow stream. They are harlequin frogs of a rare Atelopus species, still unnamed and known only in a thin wedge of the Andean foothills and adjacent Amazonian lowlands. The female appears freshly painted—a black motif on yellow, her underside shocking red. She is also dead.

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Above this tableau, at the lip of the ravine, a bulldozer idles…

Full FEATURE STORY and unbelievable photos (many for purchase) at National Geographic… click on “Photo Gallery” on left…

Kirtland Peterson

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