North America’s Most Endangered Animals- page 7 | Science | Smithsonian
Kemp's ridleys are the world's smallest sea turtles and are also the most endangered. (Erich Schlegel / International_NI / Corbis)

North America’s Most Endangered Animals

Snails, marmots, condors and coral reef are among the many species on the continent that are close to extinction

Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum)

Rabbs fringe limbed treefrog
(Brad Wilson / Associated Press)
The chytrid fungus has been found on at least 287 species of frogs in 37 countries around the world and is suspected to be a major cause of amphibian die-offs. Among its victims is the Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog, which inhabited the tropical forest canopy of central Panama. With its big webbed feet, the frog could glide, limbs outstretched, from high branches safely to the ground. The species wasn’t discovered until late 2005, when a team of scientists visited the region to collect frogs and save them in captivity before the chytrid fungus arrived. Chytrid was detected in the area the following year, and the last known wild individual, a male, was heard calling in December 2007. Researchers at Zoo Atlanta and the Atlanta Botanic Garden attempted to breed the frogs but were unsuccessful. As of April 2011, there was only one lone male surviving at the botanic garden. – SZ

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