Amphibian declines : a United States' response to the global by Michael J Lannoo

By Michael J Lannoo

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A database was then established at Task Force headquarters to receive reports from field investigators. This database is now fully operational. Summaries of the field information are disseminated to Task Force participants through FROGLOG (now a bimonthly newsletter) and other forms of communication as particular situations require. More than 3,000 individuals, including all participating investigators, currently receive FROGLOG. In developed countries where there is an established base of investigators, the network of regional and sub-regional Working Groups is largely complete and in the field.

Thin-skinned glass frogs (Centrolenidae) have declined, but so have many thick-skinned toads (Bufonidae). Life History Characteristics There is no clear pattern of differences in life history characteristics between declining and nondeclining species. Among rainforest frogs from Australia, low fecundity seems to be a factor. Consider, however, that ranids with large clutch sizes have also declined elsewhere in the world. Species that produce either large or small eggs have declined. Long-lived and shortlived species have declined.

Failing to refute a conjecture, however, does not necessarily mean that the conjecture is true). Pechmann and Wilbur (1994) basically advocated this perspective in their essay on declining amphibian populations. Strong inference, as advocated by Platt (1964), is gained by posing alternative hypotheses against which one’s data can be compared, which leads to the refutation of one or more of the alternative hypotheses. On the other hand, ecologists, particularly those interested in conservation biology, may not be able to “set aside their passions and interests in the making of scientific knowledge” (Shapin, 1996).

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