|My Golden Toad model|
in a pot of parsley
This past summer, my 4-year-old grandson noticed it and asked me where I got the "yellow frog." I told him it was a model of a real species of toad, and went on the Internet to find some photos. Sadly, we learned that the Golden Toad is now extinct, and has been since 1989. Several theories for the extinction have been advanced, but the main culprit seems to have been global warming.
In the spring of 1987, an American biologist who had come to the cloud forest specifically to study the toads counted fifteen hundred of them in temporary breeding pools. That spring was unusually warm and dry and most of the pools evaporated before the tadpoles in them had time to mature. The following year, only one male was seen at what previously had been the major breeding site. Seven males and two females were seen at a second site a few miles away. The year after, on May 15, 1989, the last sighting of only one male occurred. No golden toad has been seen since then.
|Photo of a male Golden Toad|
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
To some people, the loss of a toad in a faraway rain forest might not seem very important in the grand scheme of things. But scientists tell us that thousands more species are endangered, many go extinct each year. Unlike Noah, we seem to be unable to gather all of God's creatures onto our flimsy Ark. And, as the T-shirt says, "Extinction is forever." The loss of any species greatly diminishes our world.