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Alaska Abnormal Frog Study Published

Date Posted: April 22, 2008

A study looking at frog abnormalities and road proximity has been published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Environmental Quality.

This is the first time the prevalence of abnormalities in Alaskan amphibians has been examined. According to the study "Alaska represents an important place to examine hypotheses about amphibian abnormalities for a number of reasons. In contrast to the contiguous 48 states - where ecological cause and effect relationships are confounded by multiple broad scale land use alterations - Alaska is characterized by vast stretches of wilderness punctuated by local and self-contained disturbances such as roads and small towns. As such, it offers a unique opportunity to isolate the effects of human activities on amphibian populations." Alaska is also a good place to study the hypothesis that UVB may be causing limb abnormalities "because long summer days increase the duration of UVB exposure during tadpole development."

The abstract and full article can be found on the Environmental Health Perspectives web site (link provided, below).

Mari K. Reeves
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Anchorage Fisheries and Ecological Services Office
605 W. 4th Avenue, Room G-61
Anchorage, AK 99501

Phone: 907-271-2785
Fax: 907-271-2786

Reeves MK, Dolph CL, Zimmer H, Tjeerdema RS, Trust KA. In Press. Road Proximity Increases Risk of Skeletal Abnormalities in Wood Frogs from National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. Environ Health Perspect. [Online 21 April 2008]

Last updated: June 12, 2015