Frogs vs. pesticide

Decline in amphibian populations could be linked to pesticide use

The unprecedented and catastrophic decline of the world’s amphibian population could be linked to widely used pesticides, a study finds.

Researchers from the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany and the Zoological Society in London found that common pesticides are alarmingly toxic to amphibians, even at doses recommended by regulatory officials, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The team sprayed amphibians with widely used fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, finding the worst killer to be a fungicide called pyraclostrobin—all the common European frogs sprayed with the chemical (at the rate suggested on the label) were dead within an hour.

“It is the simplest effect you can think of,” said Carsten Brühl, one of the study’s lead researchers. “You spray the amphibian with the pesticide and it is dead. That should translate into a dramatic effect on populations.”