Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

USGS Asks For Public's Help With Deformed Frog Research

Date:
June 29, 1997
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
U.S. and Canadian residents are being asked to help in the scientific investigation of deformed frogs, toads, and salamanders. Citizens are encouraged to report sightings of both normal and malformed amphibians that are encountered during hiking, fishing, or other outdoor related activities.

For release: June 20, 1997

Related Articles


U.S. Department of the InteriorUSGS Biological Resources Division300 National CenterReston, VA 20192

Technical Contact: Dave Fellows (701) 252-5363, x5514Public Affairs Contact: Casey Stemler (703) [email protected]

USGS Asks For Public's Help With Deformed Frog Research

U.S. and Canadian residents are being asked to help in the scientific investigation of deformed frogs, toads, and salamanders. Citizens are encouraged to report sightings of both normal and malformed amphibians that are encountered during hiking, fishing, or other outdoor related activities.

"We need rigorous scientific investigations as well as observations from the general public to understand the observed decline in North American amphibian populations and the increase in reports of deformed amphibians," said Denny Fenn, Chief, Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"Many amphibian species, including northern leopard frogs, Pacific treefrogs, and several species of salamanders, have been found with deformities. Although it has not been unusual to occasionally find a deformity, such reports were infrequent until recently," Fenn said. "Only since 1995 have these reports become more common."

The North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations (NARCAM) is an Internet Website maintained by the USGS Northern Prairie Science Center in Jamestown, N.D. NARCAM provides information on the geographic distribution of amphibians and makes that information readily available to scientists who are investigating the problem.

Scientific concern began in 1995 when middle school students on a field trip reported a high incidence of leopard frogs with misshapen, extra, or malformed limbs in a farm pond in southern Minnesota. Since then, these and other malformations, including missing and misplaced eyes, have been reported among many amphibian species in several states and provinces across the continent.

Efforts to determine the cause or causes of the problem are driven by concern both for amphibian populations and for human health. Like the canaries that miners once carried to detect poison gases, amphibians may deserve attention because they are especially sensitive to chemical contaminants and other stressors in aquatic environments.

Until the causes of these malformations are understood, scientists do not know whether the amphibians are being affected by something that may also pose a risk to human health.

The Website (http://www.npsc.nbs.gov/narcam), which is jointly funded by the USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides background information on the problem in common-language terms, maps of known incidences, photographs of malformed frogs, and sources of additional information.

The site also has an easy to use data-entry form through which anyone can report an observed malformation. The report form can also be used to record the absence of malformations in a location if the observer has examined several animals.

Members of the public who do not have access to a computer will soon be able to phone in reports toll-free at 1-800-238-9801. The toll-free number is scheduled to be in operation after July 1, 1997.

The public is urged to use the Website or the phone number to report sightings of normal or malformed amphibians. If appropriate, NARCAM will contact a local herpetologist to visit the site to confirm species identity and record additional information.

As part of the Nation's largest natural resources science agency, the Biological Resources Division of the USGS works to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of the Nation's living resources. Working in cooperation with more than 1,200 local, state and federal organizations in all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries, the USGS has a deep commitment to make data and information on the Nation's biological resources more accessible to more people.

* * * USGS * * *

Note to Editors and Outdoor Writers Association of America Meeting attendees: Members of the news media are invited to attend a press availability and interview with Dr. Fenn in which he will discuss the deformed amphibians research as well as the many other biological research projects in the USGS that support the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state natural resources agencies, and others. The availability will be held in Dover Rooms I and II at the Grenelefe Resort and Conference Center, Haines City, Fla., from 6 to 8 p.m. Local inquiries may be directed by fax to USGS at the OWAA Press Room on-site at 941-421-5063.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Asks For Public's Help With Deformed Frog Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970629232526.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (1997, June 29). USGS Asks For Public's Help With Deformed Frog Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970629232526.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "USGS Asks For Public's Help With Deformed Frog Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970629232526.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins