Marc Schlossman/Panos Pictures

United States of America, USA

Black Andean Toad (Atelopus ignescens), FMNH catalogue no. 199941. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Conservation status: extinct. Not recorded since 1988, extensive searches over the last fifteen years have failed to locate this species in its humid forest habitat in the Andes of Ecuador at elevations of 3000-4000 feet. The causes of extinction are not known but an outbreak of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has been responsible for amphibian population declines in other parts of the world (and particularly among high-elevation populations of the Atelopus species) seems the likely cause of the mid-1980s crash of populations that were abundant.

As biologists describe new species and add to our understanding of the interrelated nature of life on Earth, a species becomes extinct every 20 minutes (100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate as seen in the fossil record). Collections in natural history museums play important roles in conservation, education and research. Most of that work and the associated specimens are not on public display in museumsâ typically, less than five percent of specimens are exhibited.

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Object Name
Marc Schlossman/Panos Pictures
United States of America
Max size
High Resolution
2832 x 4256 pixels
23.98 x 36.03 cm (300 dpi)
9.44 x 14.19 inch (300 dpi)
3.1 MB size on disk
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