Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Amphibians' Crisis, Maybe The Last Call

Simply, the world along with its entire creatures is in an unenviable situation; the earth is going to relive its dreadful and sad memories of extinction during the Jurassic period. But this time it’s the amphibians’ turn; they are playing the victim role (Biemer, 2006). Amphibians – the four-legs animals that lead a double life in the water and on the land – have started suffering in the last three decades, and the problem has become more serious recently. Biologists and other experts have already stated several potential causes that lead to this disaster. Global warming and climate change, diseases, pollution, and humans, all these factors do represent the major threats to amphibians (Global Amphibian Assessment, n.d). In addition, these factors have been discussed sufficiently, but any global campaign for the amphibians’ crisis hasn’t showed real movements toward the case. As a result, it is the time to cope with the problem quite seriously before it is too late. Creating protected areas, banning amphibian’s trade, and avoiding pollution of amphibians’ habitats, and constructing roads that are built inside amphibians’ habitats, all these primary steps will help effectively by reducing the decline in amphibians’ population.

Before proceeding to make our plans, we ought to convince people around the world that amphibians are endangered . It can be obvious that we are missing people’s attention; don’t estimate the risk they might conference, or what might happen in the future because of the amphibians’ crisis; in other words, people still think they can find frogs or other amphibians anywhere, this idea must be changed through holding educational lectures and related courses for the public are strongly recommended.

Throughout history, protected areas have proved their efficiency as the most appropriate and safest places for threatened creatures; now that amphibians have been classified as endangered species (Global Amphibians Assessment, n.d), the need to create protected areas or nature reserves has become pressing more than ever. In addition, most of the factors that threaten amphibians can’t be addressed immediately; these threats, such as global warming and climate change require long-term solutions to be solved. Many issues can be reduced by holding protected areas. First, protected areas may save amphibians from global warming, since protected areas contribute effectively to reducing the hazard of this phenomena (Butler, 2007). Moreover, habitat loss is considered to be one of the major threats that plays pivotal role in amphibians’ decline (Sacks, 2008); thus, protected areas stand strongly to address this risk and provide suitable places in which amphibians can find their particular – living needs in appropriate environmental conditions. Finally, since protected areas are organized and controlled by environmental experts, we may ensure that amphibians will be safe from any diseases or viruses, which have begun affecting amphibians’ population recently (Eccleston, 2008).

Regrettably, humans contribute passively in increasing the amphibians’ crisis. Scientists and environmentalists recognize a sharp decline in amphibian’s population in places in which the amphibians trade is scattered (Black, 2005). Therefore, forbidding trading in amphibians has become essential and mandatory requirement to address the extinction tribulation that amphibians are going through. Furthermore, creating strict regulations and laws that ban amphibians’ trade will guarantee solving several aspect of the problem. First, although viral diseases represent major threats to the amphibian, the threat becomes more serious when diseases transmit and spread worldwide through the amphibians’ international trade (Science Daily, 2007); in this case, banning the trade will control the spreading and restrict diseases to be local so it will be easier for preventing and curing. In addition, certainly it is the time to enact laws that prohibit illegal hunting that affects and declines amphibians’ population; indeed, it has been noticed that “a large number of species are being collected at unsustainable levels, for food, medicine, and the pet trade; it is one factor, though not the biggest, behind the global decline in amphibians which sees almost a third of species at some risk of extinction” (Black, 2005).

Pollution appears again to prove that it is a major factor in any environmental problem. Without doubt, amphibians have suffered from this gruesome phenomenon during their crisis, and its effects can be noticed in current generations of amphibians in various locations (BarrInger, 2008). In this case, the world is required to unite its efforts to reduce pollution proportion. Dirty water and polluted air are considered the most significant factors that are related to the amphibians’ crisis. Additionally, amphibians, as is known rely considerably on water, and most amphibian communities live near water surfaces; thus, countries and related organizations should find solutions to stop throwing humans’ and industrial waste in oceans, seas and other water sources. Furthermore, since ozone layer issue affects the amphibians’ crisis (Environmental Protection, 2008); in this case, we need more real answers for smoke sources; for instance, we may reduce the smoke that is produced through factories, vehicles, and others.

Finally, who would believe that thousands of amphibians are run over by vehicles in many sites worldwide? Unfortunately that’s true; roadkill is a serious problem that lead to obvious decline in amphibians’ populations in the places in which humans live near amphibians’ communities. Cars and other vehicles are responsible for the death of thousands of amphibians. Moreover, many researchers who have focused on this problem have noticed that the majority of killed amphibians on roads were female, and they were also ready to lay eggs. Therefore, scientists believe that roads don’t only kill amphibians, but also destroy and threaten the future of amphibians and contribute strongly to amphibians’ extinction crisis (Moskowitz, 2008). However, this issue can be easily released if we just construct the roads that cross these creatures ways; once we can keep amphibians away from the danger of cars and other vehicles, we will solve the roadkill problem completely.

Objectors might claim that amphibians, in particular frogs and toads, are important in medical fields and research; so, we have to keep collecting amphibians for these purposes. In fact this is true; however, since amphibians are classified as endangered, this argument is not valid anymore; it is inept and illogical to exterminate an entire species for any reason. Moreover, others may say that creating protected areas cost huge sums. However, we say that the costs of amphibians’ disappearing will be much higher; the price might be the entire life on the earth including our lives (Public Library of Science, 2008).

In summary, the world is required more than ever to realize the amphibians’ disaster and its prospective consequences for the humans’ future, and all together we ought to focus our efforts and unite them in order to resolve the problem. In addition, creating alternative habitats or protected areas, banning amphibians’ trade, avoiding pollution, and constructing roads, all these prime steps should be considered in our plans to address the crisis. Otherwise, mankind will witness the largest wave of extinction for an entire species, and amphibians will be the new fossils for our next generations.


Barringer, F. (2008, April 8) Hermaphrodite Frogs Found in Suburban Ponds. The New York Times. Retrieved on June 6, 2008, from

Biemer, J. (2006, July 7). Experts warn of total amphibian extinction, fearing cataclysm. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved on June 9, 2008, from

Black, R. (2005, September 19). Hunting threat to big amphibians. BBC News. Retrieved on June 9, 2008, from

Butler, R. (2007, April 3). Protected areas must be adapted to survive global warming. Mongabay. Retrieved on June 12, 2008, from

Deadly frog disease is spreading. (2007, May 4). Science Daily. Retrieved on June 12, from

Eccleston, P. (2008. January, 1st). Disease threatens mass extinction of frogs. Telegraph. Retrieved on June 5, 2008, from

Global Amphibian Assessment (n.d.).Retrieved on June 15, 2008, from

Moskowitz, c. (2008, April 17). Road Kill: Too Many Frogs Croak. Live Science. Retrieved on June 19, 2008, form

Sacks, A. (2008, February 23). Amphibian under threat of extinction. Daily News. Retrieved on June 9, 2008, from

Study: Ozone Exposure Harms Amphibians. (2008, May 14). Environmental Protection. Retrieved on June 16, 2008, from

The Amphibian Extinction Crisis: Will Humans Rise to the Challenge? Guest Blog by Kevin Zippel (2008, May 6). Public Library of Science. Retrieved on June 9, 2008, from

Friday, June 6, 2008

Golden toad: it is too hot !!

In the article “Climate claims golden toad” by Alex Kirby, he states that the fingers of accusation point to change of climate, especially high temperatures, as responsible for extinction of the golden toad in Costa Rica. This serious environmental issue influence not only toad but also birds, Kirby said. In addition, what is really concerning is the decreasing in clouds in that area due to the increasing of ocean temperature. Moreover, changing climate may cause diseases that affect frog and toad’s skins; however, the writer referred to an argument between scientists about the effect of an infections disease called chytrid fungi and whether it is accountable for extinction of toads and other species. Finally, the author mentioned that a study was held on two kinds of birds were living in two different habitats. Scientists noticed that in the first class cloud forest, in which they live, its population was remind moderately ; while, on the other hand, in the second class that was accustomed to living in rainy conditions, their populations were increasing .

If we take climate and environmental conditions into account as important aspects that lead to the golden toad crisis, we may realize that there are two factors that contribute effectively to the toad’s extinction. These two are change climate and global warming.

First of all, unlike humans, there are many living organisms that can’t adapt themselves to live in/with an unsteady climate; in other words, they are accustomed to living in certain climate conditions. The same fact applies to the golden toads, as they are used to living in rainy forests or green lands that are located close to water surfaces, such as lakes and rivers. Moreover, changing climate disables a lot of vital processes that are made inside the toad community. Breeding, for example, is one of these processes that rely significantly on weather conditions, and toads, like other organisms, need particular weather conditions so the breeding can be completed; therefore, any sudden change or change without warning will affect negatively this important process. In addition, the change in climate was and still one of the direct reasons that led to the extension of many organisms; thus, the same factor may play a significant role in the golden toad’s crisis, since they are other creatures and they – toads – may face the same destiny that other extinct species had faced.

Second, as is known , there is a serious problem that intimidates not only the golden toads, but also the whole planet, which is global warming. In the golden toad’s case, the harmful function of global warming can be obvious actually in many ways. Global warming leads to drought phenomena; and drought itself leads to a serious phenomenon called desertification. More explanation, toads are amphibian, and as is known amphibians rely considerably on water, since most of their living stages or levels are spent under water; therefore, if the habitat of golden toads , which is rainy forests, becomes dry and all water surfaces desiccated or dried up, that will guarantee the demise of all the toads living there. Furthermore, global warming is responsible for increasing of earth’s temperature, and as we discussed before, toads are familiar with certain conditions or temperature; thus, they won’t be able to deal with this increase, as this hotness may affect their sensitive
skins and the vital processes in their bodies, which eventually resulted in death.
In conclusion, climate change and global warming are major causes of the golden toad crisis; and many studies assign the change in climate the whole responsibility for extinction of many species. it is understood that people aren’t responsible directly for the change in climate, but at least if the human reduce the pollution, a major cause of global warming, then we can claim that we did our best.


Kirby, A. (1999, April 26). Climate claims the golden toad. BBC News. Retrieved on June 1st , 2008, from:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amphibians Are Threatened With Extinction

In the article “Major Initiative Proposed To Address Amphibian Crisis”, the author states that many biological experts have been called for discussion related to a serous issue that might lead to the demise of amphibians from the earth. The author says the reason this is a problem is that the amphibian plays significant role in the environment and has a lot to do with environmental systems. In addition, there were many studies that have been done that discussed this problem, and also many training courses have been held focusing on how to protect amphibians. The author claims that the high levels of ultraviolet radiation and pollutants are examples of the major causes of the amphibian crisis. Moreover, the problem of amphibians has many repercussions, and its effects may extend to influence other organisms including humans; also it – the amphibian crisis – causes a mess or a defect in the life systems of many living creatures. Additionally, scientists affirmed that a fungus is considered one the major reasons that leads to the amphibian’s disaster, the author said. Finally, scientists call on the world to pay attention to this problem, since the danger is increasing rapidly throughout the world.

Indeed, we may obviously realize that the article mainly converses about the discusses amphibian crisis in several aspects; however, I divide the issue into two main parts, causes and solutions.

First of all, extinction of a living organism is usually associated or linked to many factors. For example, during the Jurassic era there were many circumstances that led to dinosaurs’ disappearance, such as the change in the climate, the natural disasters, and others. In the amphibian’s case, we clearly face the same problem. The causes of the issue are, in fact, more than we can list, and humans play a pivotal role in some of them; for instance, pollution, and the ozone layer issue.

Secondly, now that we have identified the causes of the problem, we need real solutions we rely on so we can resolve the issue. First, what we are really missing in the case is the attention from people; many people, maybe the most, unfortunately don’t estimate the risk they might conference, or what might happen in the future because of the amphibian crises; therefore, holding educational lectures and related courses for the public is strongly recommended. Next, we are involved in reducing the rate of pollution around the world, and specifically the water pollution, as we realize that water surfaces have been disregarded, and oceans and seas have become huge garbage containers. Furthermore, in order to maintain the amphibians from extinction, we should create protected areas that provide all their basic needs for life, and also these places should be equipped with all appropriate environmental conditions so these creatures can safely develop and reproduce.

In conclusion, the world is required more than ever to realize these amphibian problem and its prospective consequences for the human future, and all together we ought to focus our efforts and unite them in order to resolve the problem. However, before we start work on the solutions, we should identify the problem’s causes; after that we can apply the appropriate answers; otherwise, we might eventually have to face the same destiny that dinosaurs had faced before.


Oregon State University (2006, July 7). Major Initiative Proposed To Address Amphibian Crisis. Science Daily. Retrieved May 27, 2008, from

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Summary Exercise # 1

Mamdouh Alsharif
EAP1 -Writing Workshop
Summary Assignment # 1

In the article “Cash flow not debt Causes student stress, scientists told“ by Ed Ewing and Rachel Jasper on April 4, 2005, the authors say that the university student, suffer many mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety because of loans. They authors say that according to a survey of Doctor Scott from the University of Bath, when he questioned a group of students about their debt, he found that the money owed was not exactly the cause of these mental illnesses. Doctor Scott added “Often the amount of money students can borrow is not enough for their daily needs, and the resulting financial difficulties may lead to depression, anxiety and stress“ . In the end of Doctor Scott’s study, he provided some answers to students in order to solve this problem such as teaching the students how to cope with their own money before attending school; he said, “The key is to get people involved in handling money at an early age”. Also he asked the school to offer early support for the student in to help them with their financial issues. Finally, he recommended that students to create two bank account so they can save up some money for themselves.


Ewing, E & Jasper, R (2005, April 04). Cash flow not dept causes students stress, scientists told.
Gurdian Unlimited. Retrieved on January 18, 2008 form :,,1452002,00.html