The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery

by Sandra Markle
     
 

Panamanian golden frogs aren't just cute, little, and yellow. They're also the national symbol of Panama. But they started to disappear about fifteen years ago. What's killing them? Could it be a change in their habitat? What about pollution? Might it be a result of climate change? Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations

Overview

Panamanian golden frogs aren't just cute, little, and yellow. They're also the national symbol of Panama. But they started to disappear about fifteen years ago. What's killing them? Could it be a change in their habitat? What about pollution? Might it be a result of climate change? Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwide in this real-life science mystery.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
There are species that have disappeared such as the dodo and the stellar seal, but some of these were hunted to extinction and did not disappear due to natural causes. The case of the Panamanian Golden Frog is a different story. While in the end contact with humans is suspected as the cause of the disease that is killing them, they were not deliberately hunted into extinction. The researchers were puzzled—why was the symbol of Panama dying in the wild? Was it pollution? No, the frogs lived in habitats that were not impacted by pollution. The same was true for intrusion by humans or other predators. In addition, there were no significant changes in the climate. The scientists did find dead frogs and they all had chytrid fungus zoospores on their skin. It took pathologists at the National Zoo to recognize the disease that eats into the kertin that protects the frog by keeping its skin moist. Since no source of the disease could be found, disease free frogs were captured and sent to zoos and other places to be protected. The story of this scientific mystery, the researchers who went to Panama and searched for the frogs, and the recounting of their missions along with full color photographs makes for an engrossing read. Kids who have an interest in science will find this book an inspiration and the fact that there is no pat solution is a realistic example what life as a scientist can be—lots of questions and sometimes no obvious solutions. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Kirkus Reviews

The golden frog, a Panamanian national symbol, began vanishing from its high mountain forests in the late 1990s, prompting a scientific investigation and rescue process that continues today.

Veteran science educator Markle (Hip-Pocket Papa, 2010, etc.) describes a mission that has involved scientists from around the world. Organizing her information in short chapters, she opens with a straightforward introduction of both the problem and the two biologists who have been most closely involved. She explains why the increased frog mortality couldn't be blamed on habitat destruction, pollution or global climate change and describes the discovery of the devastating chytrid fungus, explaining how it works to kill frogs and offering some hypotheses that explain how it spread. Finally, she turns to the rescue and search for a cure. Panamanian golden frogs may now be extinct the wild, and no way has yet been found to ensure their survival outside the institutions that keep breeding colonies alive in Panama and in North American zoos. The text is set on golden pages and accompanied by large, clear color photographs and maps. In the backmatter, the author notes that in spite of their common name, these frogs are actually toads and offers suggestions for helping frogs locally and learning about global efforts.

A sobering glimpse at science in progress. (glossary, list of books and websites, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)

School Library Journal
Gr 5�7—This eye-catching, well-written book provides a window into the efforts of a coalition of scientists, wildlife groups, and zoos to decode the mysterious die-off of the Panamanian golden frog, which began in the mid 1990s. Markle follows the work of biologist Karen Lips as she studied and investigated the deaths of so many of these creatures. Further, it records the work of Project Golden Frog to protect those still alive. Fine full-color photos grace every page in this excellent exposition of science at work in field and lab. An author's note is appended, as is a listing of local and global rescue efforts. Pair this gem with Pamela Turner's equally fascinating The Frog Scientist (Houghton, 2009) detailing an investigation into the effects of agricultural chemicals on frog populations, and for a nifty look at froggy facts, try Mark Moffett's colorful Face to Face with Frogs (National Geographic, 2008).—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761351085
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2011
Series:
Exceptional Science Titles for Intermediate Grades Series
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
1,200,825
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
910L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sandra Markle is the author of numerous award-winning books for children. A former elementary science teacher, she is a nationally known science education consultant. Markle has received many honors for her series Animal Predators, Animal Scavengers, and Animal Prey. Several titles have been named as National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)/Children's Book Council (CBC) Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, and Animal Predators was honored as a Top 10 Youth Nonfiction Series by Booklist. Markle is also the author of the Insect World series and several single titles. Her book Rescues! was named a Best Book by the Society of School Librarians International and a Recommended Title of Outstanding Nonfiction by the National Council of Teachers of English's (NCTE) Orbis Pictus Award committee; Animal Heroes was named a 2008 Lasting Connections title by Book Links. Markle lives in New Zealand with her husband, photographer Skip Jeffry.

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