young-wood-frog-600x298.jpg

The following is a selection from a National Geographic blog entry about Prof. Kelly Zamudio’s research 

Climate Change May Be Tipping Balance Against Imperiled Puerto Rico Frog

October 26, 2010

young-wood-frog-600x298.jpg

The following is a selection from a National Geographic blog entry about Prof. Kelly Zamudio’s research:

Prof. Kelly Zamudio holding a frogKelly Zamudio, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The Puerto Rico tropical frog known to hikers as the mountain coqui has been struggling for decades to survive against the onslaught of the frog-killer fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. But now, climate change may be tipping the balance against the embattled amphibian, according to research announced today by Cornell University.

“Scientists studying disease and climate change as part of a special multidisciplinary team at Cornell University are heading to the mountains of Puerto Rico–hoping to learn what a struggling frog species can tell us about the danger changing weather patterns present to ecosystems around the globe,” the Ithaca, New York-based university said in a news statement.

“The frog species, known as the mountain coqui to the hikers they serenade at night and Eleutherodactylus to researchers, has for decades battled a lethal fungus to a standstill,” said Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Kelly Zamudio. “The coqui populations endure the drier winter months when stress makes them vulnerable to the imported fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, then rebound when the wet season returns to their tropical forest home.

“But now, climate change may be tipping the balance in this biological standoff,” Zamudio said.

Zamudio, whose lab is looking into climate change and disease with the support of the Academic Venture Fund administered by the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future…

(Read the rest of the blog entry)