Draft 1: Where O' Where Did the Golden Toads Go?

This topic submitted by Emily Garritson ( garritem@miamioh.edu) at 4:11 PM on 3/15/06.

Larry is all smiles in the Bahamas

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University


After an extremely interesting lecture on the importance of biodiversity in ZOO275, I became fascinated by the rather quick extinction of the Costa Rican Golden Toad. The Golden Toad species was discovered in the 1960Õs, but the population disappeared decades later leaving many questions about their tragic decline. In my research paper, I will investigate the mystery of the golden toad, starting with their life history and concluding with the theories surrounding their extinction. Additionally, I will evaluate the impact of the golden toadsÕ disappearance and what this can mean for other fragile species on the brink of a similar fate.


I. Introduction
a. Importance of Biodiversity
b. General Foreword about the Golden Toad

II. Life History Information on the Golden Toad
a. Species Description
b. Range
c. Habitat
d. Reproductive Strategy

III. Human Interactions with the Golden Toad
a. Discovery of the Species
b. History of the Study of the Species
c. The Decline
d. Extinction?

IV. Theories Behind Extinction of the Golden Toad
a. Habitat Loss
b. Overexploitation
c. Pollution
d. Pesticide Use
e. Acid Rain
f. Ultraviolet Radiation
g. Climate Change
h. Introduced Species
i. Disease

V. Conclusion
a. Impact of Extinction
b. Implications of Rapid Decline
c. Reiterate Importance of Biodiversity

Reference List:

Blakeslee, S. (1997). New culprit in deaths of frogs. New York Times. 146(50917): C1.

Butler, R. (2005). World Rainforests: The golden toad. Retrieved March 9, 2006, from

DeGroot, J. (2000). Bufo periglenes: Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 14, 2006,

Flannery, T. (2005). The weather makers: How man is changing the climate and what it
means for life on Earth. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Honey, M. (1999). Ecotourism and sustainable development: Who owns paradise?
Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Kasnoff, C. (1996, July 2). Monteverde Golden Toad. Retrieved March 10, 2006, from

Kirby, A. (1999). BBC News: Climate claims the golden toad. Retrieved March 10, 2006,
from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/328776.stm.

Pounds, J. & Puschendorf, R. (2004). Ecology: Clouded Futures. Nature. 427(6970): 107

Pounds, J. et al (2006). Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven
by global warming. Nature. 439(7073):161-167

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