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Amphibian Decline Serves As Global Warning

Amphibian Decline Serves As Global Warning

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toads, climate change, mammal species, co-led, lush

Nearly one in three species of frogs and toads in the world is under threat of extinction, according to the most comprehensive global study of amphibians ever conducted. The report shows that 122 amphibian species have disappeared since 1980. The discovery, reported in the journal Science, is seen by researchers as an early warning of imminent environmental disaster.

Amphibians act like "natural barometers" since their highly permeable skin makes them very sensitive to the effects of climate change and pollution. Any drastic change in the natural world is likely to affect them first. Over the past three years, scientists analysed the distribution and conservation status of all 5,743 known amphibian species. Of these, 1,856 -32 per cent- were threatened with extinction. In comparison, only 12 per cent of bird species and 23 per cent of all mammal species are considered to be endangered. The president of Conservation International, who co-led the research, said: "Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of overall environmental health. Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation."

Amphibians were the first terrestrial vertebrates to colonise the land successfully about 350 million years ago. They have developed a remarkable diversity by adapting to many different aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Amphibians are present today in every continent except Antarctica, and can be found in almost all habitat types from dry, inhospitable deserts to lush tropical rainforests and temperate climates such as Britain's.

In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. (?)

a) Why does any climate change affect amphibians before birds or mammals?

Climate changes affect amphibians before any other species because of their skin, which is highly permeable, and therefore makes them very sensitive to this type of changes. destacar parrafo

Ayuda: La respuesta la encontramos en el segundo párrafo, que nos explica los motivos que hacen que los anfibios sean muy sensibles a los cambios climáticos

Vocabulario:"because of": debido a; "therefore": por lo tanto.

b) Where do amphibians live and why do they live there?.

Amphibians live in almost all habitat types because they have been able to adapt to different types of weather and conditions. In this way, amphibians are present in aquatic and terrestrial habitats in nearly every continent, and live under contrasting weather conditions.destacar parrafo

Ayuda: El último párrafo incluye una explicación de la gran diversidad de hábitats en los que viven los anfibios, desde lugares acuáticos a terrestres y con climas que van desde el desierto a las selvas tropicales.

Vocabulario:"have been able": han sido capaces; "In this way": de esta manera; "nearly:" casi.

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