March 8, 2010

A Busy Week in the Media for California Amphibians and Fish

The media was abuzz this week with frog and fish-related stories. First came the news that the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 to support the listing of the California tiger salamander as "threatened" under the California Endangered Species Act (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat story). Because this species is already federally-listed I don't think this will change the existing management significantly.

And then last Tuesday there was an excellent discussion about nonnative fish impacts on NPRs Diane Rehm show (archive available here). This show topic was prompted by the publication of the book, "An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World", by Anders Halverson. This is a must-read book that provides an exploration of the history, biology, and sociology of trout aquaculture and stocking. Anders was joined on the show by Curtis Milliron from the California Department of Fish and Game and Gerald Smith from the University of Michigan, and the three of them contributed to a lively discussion. 

And finally, we had the publication of a new study by Tyrone Hayes (UC Berkeley), this one showing that exposure of frogs to low doses of the herbicide atrazine can result in complete feminization of males. The authors state, "Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs." These results are remarkable and scary. If atrazine causes these bizarre effects in frogs, what effects does this stuff have on humans?

Back to The Mountain Yellow-legged Frog Site.

No comments:

Post a Comment